Stormont committee to ask Nama for clarification of Frank Cushnahan meetings

Group is examining £1.2bn Project Eagle sale in North

The Stormont inquiry investigating the £1.2 billion (€1.7bn) sale of Nama's former loan portfolio in the North plans to write to the agency to seek clarification of its knowledge of any meetings conducted by its one-time Northern Ireland adviser, Frank Cushnahan.

The chairman of the Northern Ireland Assembly Finance Committee Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay said on Thursday the committee is keen to learn exactly what Nama knew about meetings that took place between Mr Cushnahan, senior government officials and private companies as far back as 2011.

Mr Cushnahan was appointed to Nama’s Northern Ireland advisory committee in May 2010 and he resigned on 7th November, 2013.

The NI Assembly is one of a number of organisations that are investigating the circumstances surrounding the sale of Nama's former Northern Ireland loan portfolio - known as Project Eagle - to US group Cerberus.


The Stormont politicians are conducting their inquiry at the same time as the Law Society of Northern Ireland, the UK's National Crime Agency and various US agencies who are also believed to be examining key events and individuals involved in the deal.

Firm denial

Mr Cushnahan has previously said that he “firmly denies any wrongdoing and will fully co-operate with any police investigation”.

On Thursday Mr McKay said that following evidence provided to the Stormont committee earlier this week he believes there are more questions which need to be answered relating to the sale of Nama’s portfolio of loans in the North.

Mr McKay said: “It emerged that Frank Cushnahan, while a member of Nama’s northern advisory committee, also had clients who could have benefitted from the sale. This raises further questions around meetings which took place with these clients and what was discussed.

“The committee inquiry has now agreed to write to Nama to ask what it knew about this.”

Last month the chairman of Nama, Frank Daly, wrote to Mr Cushnahan to ask him to clarify details regarding his shareholding in the Belfast based Graham Group and to provide details of any meetings he had with the US company, Pimco, which had also expressed an interest in Nama's Northern Ireland loan book, and any other potential bidder.

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell

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