Senior Garda appointed to liaise with Nama over allegations

FF Senator will give documents to gardaí

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin. Allegations “go to the heart of confidence” in Nama.  Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin. Allegations “go to the heart of confidence” in Nama. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Wed, Dec 18, 2013, 13:53

The Garda Commissioner has appointed a senior officer to liaise with Nama to ensure all complaints are fully pursued, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has told the Dáil.

He also said the Public Accounts Committee is in contact with Nama about the investigations and Nama intends to assist them “is so far as possible” within the constraints of the ongoing Garda investigations.

Mr Kenny was replying to Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin who said there was an urgent need to respond to “shocking” allegations that “cannot be left hanging”.

Mr Martin said the party’s Seanad leader Darragh O’Brien would release documentation he had to gardaí. Mr O’Brien had said in the Seanad on Monday that he had information that would shake the Seanad to its core.

Mr Martin said the allegations “go to the heart of confidence and trust in an extremely important body that is acting on the taxpayer’s behalf”.

Mr Martin said “one allegation is that the entire file in relation to a person who’s loan book is with Nama was sent to a partner in a major global property company acting on behalf of that person’s rival in advance of a major high profile court case”.

Mr Martin told the Dáil that a person was quoted in the material saying “they were perfectly good loans, written down on the banks so as to keep the Nama dream alive. I was the one they relied on to get the massive low valuations. I destroyed people with these valuations.”

And he said it was also claimed that property valuations were manipulated.

The Fianna Fáil leader said the Barclay brothers had also contacted the Department of Finance in relation to documents with the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, the former Anglo-Irish bank.

Mr Martin called on the Taoiseach to instruct that objections to the release of information by the Department of Finance on concerns about Nama, should be lifted.

He said a Freedom of Information request was made in 2012 but just six of 19 documents were released and the issue was now with the Appeals Commissioner.

Mr Martin said that “for confidence and trust” the information should be released “to show the Department of Finance, Nama and other institutions were all dealing above board”.

Mr Kenny said a Minister “never has sight or function of what is agreed by FOI officers on what is released .So it’s not for the Minister to direct a freedom of information office what and what not to release.”

Mr Kenny told Mr Martin: “Nama were excluded from FOI requests by your own Government.”

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