Wednesday 13 December 2017

PAC to hold emergency meeting tomorrow to discuss compelling Independent TD Mick Wallace to give evidence

Mick Wallace
Mick Wallace
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

THE Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will hold an emergency meeting tomorrow to discuss compelling Independent TD Mick Wallace to give it evidence relating to his allegations surrounding the sale of NAMA’s Northern Ireland loan book.

The committee will also discuss inviting Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson, who has also become embroiled in the controversy.

Mr Wallace refused to accept an invitation to attend a specially convened PAC meeting to discuss the serious allegations he raised in the Dail under privilege about the €1.6bn sale of the loan book to US firm Cerebus Capital.

He claimed an audit of legal firm Tughans, which was involved in the sale, found a secret Isle of Man bank account containing £7m earmarked for political donations.

Tughans claims the account was created by former managing partner Ian Coulter who has since left the company and the money has been retrieved. Tughans insisted the money was not used inappropriately.

PAC chairman John McGuinness wrote to Mr Wallace asking him to discuss his allegations before the committee and hand over any documentation he had which suggested wrongdoing.

However, Mr Wallace turned down the opportunity to fully explain the allegations he raised in the Dail. In a letter to Mr McGuinness he said he believed an independent inquiry was necessary.

Speaking to, Mr McGuinness said Mr Wallace’s refusal “undermines his credibility and the credibility of his allegations”.

“As a member of parliament you would think  he would make himself available at the first opportunity to come forward and explain and thrash out the detail of the allegations,” Mr McGuinness said.

He added: “There is an onus on him to clear the air because the allegations could have a huge impact on the taxpayer and the public has a right to know

We will have to compel him to provided the document for us to understand the allegations he is making.”

A PAC meeting will be held in Leinster House tomorrow to discuss what action to take.

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