Friday 24 November 2017

Secrets and loans - time we blew the lid off Nama

The toxic loan agency is too crucial to our fortunes to be allowed go unscrutinised, writes Ronald Quinlan, Special Correspondent

Paddy Kelly, above, at his home in Morehampton Road, Dublin
Paddy Kelly, above, at his home in Morehampton Road, Dublin
QUESTIONS: Derek Quinlan in his car in London speaking to ‘Sunday Independent’ reporter Ronald Quinlan. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

BY the time the late finance minister Brian Lenihan declared in March 2010 "we're chasing developers to the ends of the Earth", I had already been on their trail for over a year.

Back then, the narrative for Ireland's economic crisis was brutal in its simplicity, involving as it did, a small coterie of property developers and bankers whose liabilities had brought the country to its knees. I tracked them down and confronted them with a missionary zeal.

I can still recall standing with Bernard McNamara outside his 10,000-square foot mansion on Ailesbury Road as he defended his decision to continue living there, even as the business founded by his late father in 1948 collapsed under the weight of its €1.5bn plus debt. And I was there the day he went into Nama headquarters to hear the news that it was all over and that his companies were being put into receivership.

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