Thursday 23 November 2017

Person who wanted to exit NAMA 'told to put €15k in bag’, Mick Wallace alleges to Dail

Independent TD Mick Wallace
Independent TD Mick Wallace
John Downing

John Downing

INDEPENDENT TD Mick Wallace was today told to go to Garda Síochána with new allegations he made concerning NAMA’s operations.

Using Dáil privilege, Mr Wallace told the Dáil he knew a person in construction who wanted to exit NAMA and was asked to pay €15,000 “in a bag – in cash.”

He said some weeks later the same person was asked to pay “the same again” – and when he did that he got his release from NAMA.

The Wexford TD also questioned separately when the NAMA chairman Frank Daly knew about a deposit in an Isle of Man bank account linked to the sale of the NAMA Northern Ireland properties. Mr Wallace said NAMA knew about this last January.

“Are you happy Taoiseach that all is still well?” Mr Wallace challenged the Taoiseach.

Read more: Lawyer 'received no benefit' from Nama deal - Coulter denies Nama deal cash destined for politician

The Ceann Comhairle, Seán Barrett, warned the Independent TD that he could not use the Dáil as “a star chamber.”  The Dáil chairman said Mr Wallace had produced no facts to substantiate his allegations.

“If you have any other questions please go to the Garda Siochana or the Public Accounts Committee,” Mr Barrett said in a second warning to the Wexford TD.

The Taoiseach said the matters raised by Mr Wallace should be directed to the Gardai. Mr Kenny said NAMA was supervised by the Comptroller & Auditor General and the Public Accounts Committee.

“You should present your findings, you should present your facts – if facts they are - to them,” Mr Kenny said.

A spokesperson for NAMA responded to the allegations and said Deputy Wallace "has not provided the agency with any information of th type he spoke about in the Dail today".

NAMA also confirmed that the CEO of the Agency, Mr Brendan McDonagh, will write to the Garda Commissioner today to ask them to investigate these claims. 

"The allegation, if not investigated as a matter of urgency, casts a shadow over all NAMA officers and, accordingly, we will ask that the Deputy’s allegation, including any evidence that he may claim to possess, be investigated as a matter of urgency," the spokesperson said.

"Under Section 19 of the Criminal Justice Act 2011, any party with evidence of criminal wrongdoing is legally obliged to bring such evidence to the attention of An Garda Siochana.  

"In the event that the Deputy Wallace is aware of such evidence and has not brought it to the attention of An Garda Siochana, this may be a breach of Section 19.

"In response to the claim by Deputy Wallace that NAMA was aware of a payment made to an Isle of Man account in January of this year, this was categorically false and incorrect," he continued.

"NAMA has already confirmed that the first it know of this payment which, it is alleged, was connected to individuals in Northern Ireland, was two weeks ago following news reports on the issue."

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