Monday 24 July 2017

Noonan has every right to defend himself from criticism of TDs

Dail committees are definitely not tribunals, and should stop trying to act as if they are

Anger: Finance Minister Michael Noonan told the Dail last week that he and his officials 'refute absolutely' any claim they 'acted inappropriately' Photo: Frank McGrath
Anger: Finance Minister Michael Noonan told the Dail last week that he and his officials 'refute absolutely' any claim they 'acted inappropriately' Photo: Frank McGrath

Eilis O'Hanlon

Did Michael Noonan threaten to injunct the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to thwart publication of its report into the sale of Nama's Northern Irish loan book, otherwise known as Project Eagle?

Fianna Fail's Sean Fleming, who chairs the PAC, claims that he did, and now questions the Finance Minister's fitness for office as a result.

Noonan, in turn, is aggrieved that the report criticises his department for meeting US firm Cerberus before it bought the Project Eagle assets for €1.6bn in 2014. That, PAC says, was "not procedurally appropriate" and could have given an impression of "preferential treatment".

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