Mick Wallace won’t appear at PAC to discuss NAMA allegations

Committee discussed possibility of compelling TD before the PAC

Independent TD Mick Wallace has refused to appear before the Dáil's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to discuss allegations he made about a NAMA sale.

Mr Wallace declined the invitation to clarify the claims with the committee and said it was his belief there should be an independent inquiry.

The committee discussed the possibility of compelling Mr Wallace before the PAC.

However, the TDs insisted there was little appetite to make that move.


Mr Wallace has revealed a NAMA portfolio, Project Eagle, was sold for € 1.5 billion to US private equity firm Cerberus despite having been worth € 4.5 billion.

He said an audit of a legal firm involved in the process revealed that £7 million ended up in an Isle of Man bank account and this was "reportedly earmarked for a Northern Ireland politician".

Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee John McGuinness said the priority was to hear from NAMA before deciding what to do next.

He said: “We will decide whether we need to hear from Mick Wallace has to say after we hear from NAMA.

“There is an onus on Mr Wallace to give the information he has put in the public domain to the Gardai, to the Public Accounts Commitee or his statement goes uninvestigated.”

NAMA chairman Frank Daly and chief executive Brendan McDonagh will appear before the committee today and will be joined by Department of Finance official Declan Reid.

Mr McGuinness said PAC was the best place to investigate those claims because under legislation, it has oversight of the NAMA accounts.

He said the committee is eager to understand how the process worked and whether this was the best business approach to achieving the best possible sale price.

He said all potential conflicts in the sales of the assets will be explored.

The chairman added: “Cerberus hired a US law firm Brown Rudnick to handle the deal. Browne Rudnick had also been retained by Pimco. Brown Rudnick in turn retained a law firm in Northern Ireland Tughans as local advisor in Belfast.

“Tughans has a close connection with a Frank Cushnahan, a Northern Ireland businessman who was appointed to a NAMA advisory Committee dealing to the Northern Ireland portfolio.

“Based on what Pimco told NAMA, Mr Cushnahan was in line to receive a third party acquisition fee as part of the payments to be made by Brown Rudnick to Tughans. So this potential conflict of interest will be explored by the Committee in detail with NAMA officials.”