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McNamara gets 'Nama-friendly' set of wheels

In his heyday his helicopter dropped him off at a specially built helipad in Booterstown and he drove to and from his opulent home on nearby Ailesbury Road in Dublin 4 in a top-of-the-range Mercedes.

But how things have changed for the one-time king of the developers, Clare-born Bernard McNamara.

Last week he would have impressed his bosses in Nama by embracing the age of austerity with a new set of wheels.

As our picture shows he's ditched his trademark Mercedes S350 and taken to the road in a more 'Nama-friendly' Volkswagen Golf.

Mr McNamara's latest runaround would certainly be in keeping with the 'cut your cloth to measure' mantra being so fervently espoused by Nama chief executive Brendan McDonagh and his officials. Not that Mr McDonagh is short of proverbial cloth himself, given his own annual salary of €430,000, and entitlement to a bonus of 60 per cent of that figure.

Indeed, with that sort of earning power virtually guaranteed for the next 10 years (Nama's expected lifetime), Mr McDonagh could probably afford to live in the manner Nama now expects its developer borrowers to abandon.

Judging by their recent actions, it would seem the bureaucrats down at the Treasury Building haven't finished with Mr McNamara's property empire just yet.

Only two weeks ago, the 61-year-old developer had another of his companies, Cicol Ltd, placed into receivership by Nama. The company's principal business activity is understood to have related to a site in the south Dublin suburb of Stillorgan.

And prior to its move on Cicol, Nama had already appointed a receiver to another McNamara company, Radora Ltd, on November 29 last.

Radora's principal business related to the development of the Elm Park office and apartment complex on Dublin's Merrion Road.

In the case of Radora, documents filed by the receiver -- Declan Taite of Farrell Grant Sparks -- on behalf of the company show that there had been 17 security documents involving mortgages and debentures over company assets between it and Anglo Irish Bank since 2001.

In its most recent accounts filed for the period ending November 30, 2007, Radora had work in progress valued at €486m, debtors of €86m and bank borrowings of €430m. Net assets were recorded as €81m.

In a note to the same accounts, however, it was stated that the deterioration in market conditions meant there were "severe consequences" for the ability to verify these valuations.

Sunday Independent