Dáil to vote on commission of inquiry into Nama

Mick Wallace puts down motion over sale of Nama’s Northern loans

The Dáil is to vote next week on the establishment of a commission of investigation into the sale of Nama's Northern Ireland loans.

Independent TD Mick Wallace, who has repeatedly raised concerns about the loans, called Project Eagle, is behind a Dáil motion from the Independents 4 Change group, of which he is a member.

Mr Wallace has put down a private members’ motion on the issue and it will be voted on by the Dáil next week

The Wexford TD yesterday again asked Minister for Finance Michael Noonan to establish a commission of investigation into Nama. He claimed the Government has been happy to leave investigations to the UK's national crime agency.


Mr Wallace told The Irish Times that Mr Noonan did not adequately respond to his questions into the sale of the controversial loans toy US fund Cerberus for €1.6 billion just over two years ago.

He said he is hopeful his motion will gain the support of a majority of deputies, adding he had deliberately worded it similarly to a previous Fianna Fáil motion on the issue.

The motion tabled by Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath last October called on the last Government "to establish a Commission of Investigation under the Commissions of Investigation Act 2004 with regard to the sale of Project Eagle by the National Asset Management Agency. "

Mr Wallace’s motion is similar and the Wexford TD said that, as a result, he is hopeful it will secure the support a majority of deputies.

While motions are non-binding on a government, Mr Wallace said it should result in a commission of investigation into Nama if the Dáil supports the establishment of one.

He asked Mr Noonan if he has concerns about Nama and if the Minister would establish a commission.

Mr Wallace said that Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation yesterday announced it had "arrested the former Nama employee Paul Pugh, an individual who came onto our radar long before now".

“That makes four Nama employees in total who have been arrested. Does the Minister not think it is about time he started asking questions? Could he tell me of any other State organisation that has had four former employees arrested without a sniff of an investigation?”

In response, Mr Noonan said he does not believe it is “appropriate launch a commission of investigation based purely on speculation, nor to interfere with current legitimate investigations”.

“There have been a number of calls for a commission of investigation into Project Eagle,” he said.

“However, all known allegations of wrongdoing are currently being investigated by the appropriate authorities. We support these investigations and stand ready to assist in any way that is helpful.”

He said Nama may soon appear before the Public Accounts Committee for a third time on the issue and that the Comptroller and Auditor General is conducting a value for money review of Project Eagle.

“There has been much confusion and conflation of issues. However, it remains the case that allegations of wronging have not been directed at Nama.”