Wallace to make new disclosures on property deals
TD says information will back his call for new inquiry
Mick Wallace: used Dáil privilege to reveal a northern politician or party may have been the intended beneficiary of a £7m sum lodged in an offshore account. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times
Independent TD Mick Wallace has said he will disclose new material around a controversial property disposal by the National Assets Management Agency in the Dáil next week that will support his call for an independent inquiry.
Mr Wallace, a Dáil deputy for Wexford, reiterated his call for an inquiry, saying the Public Accounts Committee did not have the mechanisms or sufficient powers to investigate forensically Nama’s multibillion-euro property dealings, including the £1.5 billion Project Eagle disposal of 850 properties in Northern Ireland.
He said the information he would disclose on Wednesday – as well as court challenges to Nama which would come into the public realm later this year – would show the necessity for such an inquiry. He will be representing the technical group at Leaders’ Questions.
The Independent Deputy for Wexford used Dáil privilege earlier this month to reveal that a northern politician or party may have been the intended beneficiary of a £7 million sum lodged in an offshore account.
Money lodgedIan CoulterBelfastTughansCerberus
Separately, senior Nama officials attended a hearing of the Public Accounts Committee, and disclosed another US investment firm interested in the portfolio Pimco had agreed to pay a success fee of £5 million to Frank Cushnahan, who had resigned as a member of the agency’s advisory committee.
Yesterday, Mr Wallace said the PAC did not possess the wherewithal to examine Nama’s transactions and if it represented good value.
“I was making the point that it is impossible for the Comptroller and Auditor General and the PAC to hold Nama to account for every property deal.
He said the Nama representatives were “very polished”.
“I am not casting aspersions at the PAC [or the C&AG].
“It just does not have the ability or the mechanisms to conduct thorough investigations. It is limited in its remit. If I was on the PAC I would not be able to hold Nama to account either. If I was on it, I would not be able to put the questions that need to be answered.
Mr Wallace said there were a lot of aspects to the operation of Nama that needed to come into the public realm. He contended some deals did not maximise the values that could have been achieved.