Tuesday 16 January 2018

Wallace tells Dáil he was 'threatened' for raising Nama issues

Mick Wallace
Mick Wallace

Niall O'Connor and Daniel McConnell

Independent TD Mick Wallace has claimed that a representative from an investment firm told him he "was going to get sorted" for raising issues relating to the sale of Nama's Northern Ireland loan book.

Mr Wallace told the Dáil that he was "summoned" to a meeting by a "public figure", during which the threat was communicated. The Wexford deputy said the threat was passed on to him by a representative of Cerberus, the US firm that purchased Nama's Project Eagle portfolio of Northern Ireland loans.

Controversy surrounding 'Project Eagle' - which involved the sale of an 850-property portfolio for about £1.2bn (€1.6bn) - was raised for a third consecutive Dáil sitting.

Cerberus is in the running to purchase a separate property portfolio known as 'Project Arrow'. The portfolio involves €8.4bn in non-performing loans and is made up of significant residential properties in the Republic.

During tense scenes in the Dáil, Mr Wallace said the Taoiseach was washing his hands of the controversy.

Mr Wallace claimed Cerberus offered to sell someone their own Nama loans for 50c in the euro, months before it even bought the loans at all.

He then alleged, under Dáil privilege, that he was told by a representative of Cerberus that he would be "sorted" for pursuing the issue.

"Listen, I realise these are serious players," Mr Wallace said.

"And only recently I was actually summoned to a meeting by a public figure and a message was passed on to me from a leading member of Cerberus Ireland that I was going to get sorted.

"Now why would they have to say that if I'm telling the truth?" he added.

Cerberus has said previously that it did not make any improper payments or pay any illegal fees in relation to the deal.

The company could not provide a response to Mr Wallace's claims before going to print.

Irish Independent

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