Peter Robinson working for large Nama debtor in North

Former first minister was employed as consultant by Paddy Kearney’s firm Kilmona

Former Northern Ireland first minister Peter Robinson: was part of a delegation from Kilmona at the meeting of the Carrickfergus Regeneration Partnership. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Former Northern Ireland first minister Peter Robinson: was part of a delegation from Kilmona at the meeting of the Carrickfergus Regeneration Partnership. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

Former Northern Ireland first minister Peter Robinson has been working as a consultant for Kilmona, the property company run by Paddy Kearney that was one of Nama’s biggest debtors in the region.

According to reports, Mr Robinson appeared at a recent meeting which was discussing a proposed Kilmona planning application for a prominent site between Belfast and Carrickfergus in Co Antrim.

He was part of a delegation from Kilmona at the meeting of the Carrickfergus Regeneration Partnership, but did not play a large part in the discussions of the company’s plans.

Kilmona was one of Nama’s biggest borrowers in Northern Ireland and its £300 million (€330 million) loans, originally from Anglo Irish Bank, were part of the controversial €1.6 billion sale of those assets by the State agency to US company Cerberus in 2014.

Controversies surrounding the deal, known as Project Eagle, have led to a number of investigations, including ones by the UK’s National Crime Agency and the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee.

Kilmona paid off Cerberus last year after borrowing £122 million from another company, Jefferies LoanCore, an exercise known as refinancing. The group has a £200 million investment plan for five sites in Belfast.

Its founder and head, developer Paddy Kearney, was one of the so-called Maple 10, a group of property players to which Anglo Irish Bank loaned money in 2008 so they could buy its shares.

The bank was nationalised and wound up in the wake of the financial crisis which struck later that year.

Kilmona is planning a combined residential and commercial development for the site between Belfast and Carrickfergus.