Labour Senator ’fobbed off’ after raising concerns in June about ex-Nama employee

State could be legally liable for ex-agency staff passing information to third parties

Labour Senator Lorraine Higgins told the Seanad the State could be liable for millions of euro in legal actions. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Labour Senator Lorraine Higgins told the Seanad the State could be liable for millions of euro in legal actions. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Wed, Dec 18, 2013, 01:51

A Government Senator has claimed she was “dismissed” and “effectively fobbed off” when she raised issues about Nama in the Upper House earlier this year.

Labour Senator Lorraine Higgins told the Seanad the State could be liable for millions of euro in legal actions because of former Nama employees passing information on the agency’s assets to third parties.

Such a situation undermined Nama’s ability to recover optimal amounts from its assets and the best return for the taxpayer. Nama, which has responsibility for €74 billion in loans, is the world’s largest property management company.

Ms Higgins said there was a legal action in the High Court for an injunction by an individual whose information was passed on to a third party by a former Nama employee.

She added that she had “damning information” about this ex-employee Paul Hennigan.

Cathaoirleach Paddy Burke called on her to refrain from naming people on the record of the House in a way that identified them.

She said Mr Hennigan joined a property company in the UK of which he was now a director. He was named in the High Court application and she also claimed that he tried to “silence” her, threatening her with legal action if she referred to him in the Seanad again.

The Labour Senator also said that when she brought the issue up in the Seanad last May and June, calling on the Minister for Finance to investigate, “I was dismissed”. She said: “I was essentially fobbed off.”

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