Tuesday 23 January 2018

Nama must remove the veil of secrecy and show public what it's done with their cash

Nama's headquarters in the Treasury Building in Dublin
Nama's headquarters in the Treasury Building in Dublin

Gavin Sheridan

'Secrecy, being an instrument of conspiracy, ought never to be the system of regular government," philosopher Jeremy Bentham wrote in 1839. That's 176 years ago - yet we still don't seem to have learned much from how insightful it is.

Secrecy has been a key component in every major Irish political scandal since the foundation of the State - but it seems no matter how many times this fact is exposed, we continue to argue in favour of secrecy. And again this week we were faced with another scandal that has its origins in deliberate regimes of secrecy.

Yesterday, Nama chairman Frank Daly appeared before the Public Accounts Committee to be asked questions about the circumstances of its largest asset sale to date - the Cerberus/Project Eagle sale. Daly said that no pressure "from any source, political or otherwise influenced Nama in regard to the decision to sell the loans" and that the process was "robust, competitive and secured the best outcome for the Irish taxpayer".

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