Tuesday 16 January 2018

Second Nama official investigated on sale of agency's Lucan property

RONALD QUINLAN

Senior Nama executive questioned by investigators only months after his being promoted

NAMA has placed one of its most senior officials under investigation in relation to the sale of one its own properties to former employee Enda Farrell, the Sunday Independent has learned.

An extensive investigation by this newspaper has confirmed that Paul Hennigan -- only recently promoted to the position of Senior Asset Recovery Manager at the agency -- has now been questioned by investigators about his role in approving the hugely controversial sale of Sundaywell in Lucan by property developer Thomas Dowd to Enda Farrell and his wife, Alice Kramer.

Up until his recent promotion, Mr Hennigan was directly responsible for managing Mr Dowd's loans with Nama in his capacity as his portfolio manager. As part of his responsibilities, he was tasked with giving approval to Mr Dowd's disposal of assets.

Sources familiar with the inquiry have confirmed to the Sunday Independent that Mr Dowd sought and received Mr Hennigan's permission to proceed with the sale of Sundaywell to Mr Farrell and his wife.

A spokesman for Nama refused to comment last night, saying: "We don't comment on individual employees."

There is no suggestion that Mr Hennigan was complicit with or acting in concert with Mr Farrell in relation to the controversial property transaction.

The fallout from the Farrell affair has deepened considerably since news of the sale of Sundaywell emerged. A trawl of Mr Farrell's work emails by Nama investigators uncovered evidence that he had been engaged in the unauthorised removal of information from the agency prior to his departure in March of this year. Appearing before the High Court on October 8 last, Mr Farrell admitted to forwarding 29 emails to his wife's email address at Ernst & Young between October 2011 and February.

Mr Farrell subsequently sent 15 emails containing commercially sensitive Nama information between April and July to property investment groups including Forum, which employed him after he left Nama. Mr Farrell left Forum last month, while Ms Kramer has resigned from Ernst & Young.

The emails, which are understood to contain details of every property controlled by Nama, have the potential to be extremely valuable to anyone seeking to buy property from the agency.

They also have the potential to significantly undermine the ability of Nama developers to recover the optimum amount for their assets and pay down their debt to the taxpayer.

The Sunday Independent can reveal that lawyers for Sean Dunne wrote to Nama Senior Portfolio Manager Kevin Nowlan last Wednesday expressing their concern that the contents of his Statement of Affairs and information in relation to his companies' assets had been leaked from Nama.

In their letter, Mr Dunne's Dublin-based lawyers Clerkin Lynch said: "These fears have been further heightened by recent media reports that 'highly confidential' and 'commercially sensitive' information was removed from Nama and disseminated by former employee Mr Enda Farrell to a variety of third parties."

The letter added that Mr Dunne was "deeply concerned" that the release of such information could have a "detrimental impact on the marketability of his assets".

They asked Nama to confirm "as a matter of urgency whether any confidential information provided by Mr Dunne in the course of his dealings with Nama has been leaked to any third party."

The Sunday Independent understands that lawyers for the agency informed Mr Dunne last Friday evening that they were taking instructions on the issue and would respond tomorrow.

Sunday Independent

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