Investigation into Nama loan sale extended for another three months

Sale of State agency’s Northern Ireland loans has been under investigation since 2017

The Government-appointed commission of investigation into the sale by the National Asset Management Agency (Nama) of its Northern Ireland portfolio has been extended again, until June.

Retired High Court judge John Cooke was appointed in June 2017 to investigate the 2014 sale of Nama's £1.24 billion (€1.4 billion) portfolio to US distressed-debt firm Cerberus.

Mr Justice Cooke, the sole member of the commission, was originally due to deliver his report in June 2018 but the commission has sought repeated extensions since then.

This week the Department of the Taoiseach granted the commission a request for a further three-month extension until the end of June after receiving the investigation's 13th interim report.


This is the 10th delay in the commission’s work.

It told the department in the report that the circulation of the provisional text of its draft final report to people named or identifiable in it was a “complex logistical task”.

This involved the full report being circulated to many individuals, firms and organisations and extracts to others, a substantial number of whom are outside the State.


This process was complicated by the strict confidentiality applying to recipients, leading the commission to write in advance to recipients outside the State to verify their correct names and addresses and making sure they would comply with the confidentiality obligation.

The commission said that it could not rule out the possibility that some recipients will look for a longer period to consider the draft. Depending on the responses, the final report will be submitted to the department in advance of June 30th, it said.

The long-running investigation has racked up costs of more than €3.75 million to date, excluding third-party legal costs incurred but not yet paid.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is News Editor of The Irish Times