Nama chief accused of 'misleading' Dáil committee

 

THE HEAD of the National Asset Management Agency (Nama) “should be disciplined” for “misleading” the Public Accounts Committee, a meeting of the committee was told yesterday.

The committee is to recall Brendan McDonagh in January over media reports that he has “backtracked” on comments made to the committee last month, chairman and Fine Gael TD Bernard Allen said.

Fianna Fáil TD Ned O’Keeffe told the committee he wanted an official explanation, and wanted Mr McDonagh to be “disciplined for misleading us” or to apologise.

Mr McDonagh appeared before the committee in November. During the meeting Fianna Fáil TD Michael McGrath said there was a need to investigate the fact that “false, misleading information” was provided to the agency in a systematic way.

This could have led to a “huge overpayment by the taxpayer” to the banks. He knew this was a serious charge, but “the evidence is overwhelming”.

Mr McDonagh told the meeting last month that he did not disagree with the points being made by Mr McGrath.

Mr McGrath asked gardaí to investigate the matter. Yesterday Mr O’Keeffe said that Mr McGrath was “set up”.

Mr O’Keeffe said it was “very serious” that this would happen. He is in a “very serious position in a new agency,” Mr O’Keeffe said.

Mr McDonagh had failed to provide the committee with salary scales in Nama, Mr Allen said. “I asked the secretariat to say we would recall him unless we got information on salary scales,” he said. The information will be provided in the next days, he added.

Mr McDonagh’s appearance before the committee would “give us an opportunity to clarify evidence in relation to the misleading of Nama” said Mr Allen.