Monday 26 February 2018

Nama official Farrell is up €65,000 in property sale

House bought 18 months ago from agency borrower makes 16pc profit

NO COMMENT: Enda Farrell
NO COMMENT: Enda Farrell
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

THE former Nama official who bought a Dublin house from one of the agency's own borrowers has resold the property for an impressive 16 per cent gross profit, it can be revealed.

The sale by Enda Farrell and his wife Alice Kramer of Sunday's Well in Lucan for €475,000 on April 23 comes just months after an independent investigation ordered by Nama concluded there was no evidence to show he had acquired it for below its market value. Mr Farrell had purchased the house and its surrounding lands from Thomas Dowd – a former business partner of Ireland's one-time property Midas Derek Quinlan – in November 2011 for €410,000.

News of the transaction, for which the details are recorded on the Property Price Register, will invariably re-ignite the controversy around Nama and its ability to effectively police its own officials.

Contacted last Friday and asked about the latest sale of Sunday's Well, Mr Farrell categorically refused to make any comment, saying: "I'm not going to talk about anything."

While there is no suggestion Mr Farrell has done anything illegal in reselling the Lucan property and making a substantial profit on it, eyebrows will be raised both within Nama and beyond as to how he managed to secure 15.85 per cent more than he had paid for it in November 2011 at a time when residential property prices in even the most sought after areas in Dublin are barely registering low single-digit increases.

Mr Farrell's €65,000 gross profit is all the more impressive when one considers that no visible improvement work has been carried out on Sunday's Well since he acquired it 17 months ago. A physical inspection of the house by this newspaper yesterday confirmed the property remains in a semi-derelict state.

The identity of Sunday Well's latest owner remains a mystery thanks to the absence of documents recording the transaction at either the Property Registration Authority or the Registry of Deeds. Such a delay in filing papers relating to the sale of property is not unusual, however.

And while there may be disquiet regarding the sale by Mr Farrell for such a significant profit, a well-placed Nama source insisted last night that there was nothing untoward about it.

"You have to remember that the sale [to Enda Farrell] was perfectly legal. Thomas Dowd wanted to sell his house. Enda Farrell wanted to buy it and they agreed a price which was supported by two valuations. What it did show was the moral and ethical ambiguity of Farrell, which led to examining everything he did and uncovered his taking of confidential data from Nama."

Having launched its investigation into Mr Farrell's purchase of Sunday's Well last year, Nama quickly discovered through a detailed trawl of his emails that he had leaked a large volume of confidential information relating to the agency's loan portfolio to a number of potential international investors.

The agency took civil law proceedings to ascertain the extent of Mr Farrell's breach of its compliance code and made a formal complaint to gardai. The matter remains under investigation.

Sunday Independent

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