Who to believe on Nama’s future – Donohoe or Daly?

Cantillon: Minister says Nama will be gone by 2020, chairman says the work will go on

 Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Nama chairman Frank Daly seemed to be saying different things about the State assets agency’s future on Wednesday.

Donohoe was clear that he saw no need for Nama to carry on beyond 2020. Daly, on the other hand, emphasised that the agency still had significant properties, such as the Irish Glass Bottle site in Ringsend, Dublin, that needed to be worked out over time, years in fact. “We will not get the best return by selling these assets in the short term,” he warned.

Launching Nama’s 2016 annual report 12 months ago, Daly highlighted that the Ringsend site would require the organisation to keep going beyond 2020. He did not stray too far from this on Wednesday.

Donohoe agreed that valuable Nama sites required careful decisions. Nevertheless, he suggested that the State could hold on to some of Nama’s expertise in managing those assets by moving it to House Building Finance Ireland, the body he proposed setting up in the budget.

This could mean that Nama morphs into a dedicated house-building financier, something it is already doing. However, Donohoe seemed to favour taking staff from one and moving them to the other.

The Minister highlighted Nama’s very real success on Wednesday. What it has done would have been thought impossible when it started eight years ago. So, it seems logical for the agency to beef up its residential activities as it winds the others down.

Nevertheless, Donohoe and his Cabinet colleagues may feel that Nama’s work is almost done. They might also fear fallout from investigations into the agency’s sale of its Northern Ireland loans in 2014. Even suggesting that it will be wound up means they can distance themselves from this.

Whatever the reason, while Donohoe praised Nama yesterday, he also seemed willing to bury it.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.