Inquiry makes last request to former Nama adviser

Frank Cushnahan has to date given no commitment that he will appear before the committee

Stormont politicians have made one last attempt to persuade Nama's former advisor Frank Cushnahan to co-operate with their inquiry into the £1.2 billion sale of the agency's former assets in Northern Ireland.

The chairman of the Assembly's Committee for Finance and Personnel, Daithi McKay, has formally written to Mr Cushnahan again, following what he described as fresh Nama revelations contained in a BBC Northern Ireland Spotlight programme.

Mr Cushnahan has to date given no commitment that he will appear before the committee.

He previously wrote to it, via his solicitors, to complain about evidence given by prominent Belfast businessman Gareth Graham, who is involved in a legal battle with Cerberus, the US investment company that bought Nama's Northern portfolio.


Last December, Mr Cushnahan’s legal team told the Stormont inquiry chairman that it would “not engage” with him.

The Northern Ireland businessman has previously said he “firmly denies any wrongdoing and will fully co-operate with any police investigation”.

But Mr McKay has appealed to Mr Cushnahan to help the Stormont committee get to “the truth about the sale” of Nama’s Northern loan book.

“Time is running out – the committee has to publish its report based on the evidence we have heard before the Assembly is dissolved ahead of the May elections.

“I believe that our job is not done and I would urge the next finance committee to continue on with the review, but it is important that while we still can, we hear from as many witnesses as possible in order to uncover the truth,” Mr McKay added.

As well as Mr Cushnahan, the Stormont inquiry has also agreed to invite David Gray, a Belfast accountant, Gareth Robinson, the son of former first minister Peter Robinson, Ronnie Hanna, formerly head of asset recovery with Nama and the property developer John Miskelly to give evidence in the coming weeks.

Mr Gray was filmed by the BBC Spotlight team meeting Mr Cushnahan and Mr Miskelly.

He is a partner in local leading accountancy firm, RSM Northern Ireland.

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business