Nama says Mick Wallace has no evidence for latest Project Eagle claim

TD tells Dáil agency insider ensured that US firm Cerberus’s bid for loans succeeded

Nama has urged Mick Wallace to engage with the agency.  Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Nama has urged Mick Wallace to engage with the agency. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

 

State agency Nama has told independent TD Mick Wallace that there is not a “shred of evidence” for his claim that an insider collaborated with US company Cerberus to ensure that it secured the controversial Project Eagle loans in the North.

Mr Wallace told the Dáil that “a Nama insider” based in Dublin collaborated with Cerberus to ensure that it bought the Project Eagle loans for €1.6 billion. The deal is at the centre of claims that politicians in the North were to receive part of a £7.5 million payment arising from the transaction.

However, the agency’s head of relationship management, Martin Whelan, has written to the TD saying that he has made the allegation without producing “a shred of supporting evidence” for it.

Mr Whelan states that Project Eagle was sold after an open market process. “Furthermore, I would point out that no one individual had authority to approve any sale and that only the board had such authority,” he adds.

The Nama official says that this the latest in a long series of unsubstantiated allegations that Mr Wallace has made against the agency without giving it any opportunity to respond.

He urges him to either engage with Nama or refer his claims, along with any proof he might have, to the Garda.

The row over Cerberus Capital Management’s purchase of Nama’s Project Eagle loans last year blew up when it emerged that £7.5 million had been diverted from Belfast solicitors Tughans, which worked for the US company, to an Isle of Man account.

Mr Wallace and a number of others have claimed that senior politicians and business people in the North were to share the money but those accused have denied the allegations.