Noonan pledges to fight his corner over Project Eagle

Minister for Finance will rebut any adverse findings against him in PAC report on Nama

Michael Noonan: Some reports suggest that he is criticised in the Public Accounts Committee findings for meeting Cerberus representatives. Photograph: Alan Betson

Michael Noonan: Some reports suggest that he is criticised in the Public Accounts Committee findings for meeting Cerberus representatives. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has pledged to “rebut in the strongest possible terms” any findings against him in a report on Nama’s controversial Project Eagle deal.

The Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is considering a working paper based on evidence gathered over a two-month enquiry into the €1.6 billion sale of Nama’s Northern Ireland loans to US company Cerberus.

Some reports suggest that Mr Noonan is criticised for meeting Cerberus representatives, though he strongly contested the inquiry’s operations during an appearance yesterday before the Oireachtas Finance Committee.

“I would say that I rebut that in the strongest possible terms, and I have never seen an inquiry or a tribunal where an adverse finding was found against anybody that they weren’t allowed to comment on,” he said.

Voluntarily

He said he had voluntarily spent five hours before the PAC, but later found that there was a supposed adverse finding against him on something he had not been asked about.

Mr Noonan has already written to the PAC chair, Fianna Fáil TD Seán Fleming, questioning the committee’s legal advice. The PAC began its discussion of the draft document in private on Wednesday.

The paper, prepared by committee staff, is several steps away from a report. It is understood that it outlines possible rather than definite findings that could be drawn from evidence. The committee will continue its discussions today.