Wallace reports Nama €15,000 ‘in a bag’ claim to gardaí

Independent TD told Dáil a construction firm was asked for cash to exit the agency

Independent TD Mick Wallace has formally told gardaí about allegations he made about the National Asset Management Agency recently.

He made allegations about Nama in the Dáil last week, saying a construction company was asked to make two payments of €15,000 “in a bag” by a Nama official to exit the agency.

“I was asked to go and meet two superintendents last Thursday. I met them at 8am on Friday morning,” he said.

Mr Wallace said he spoke to the superintendents for an hour and 20 minutes.

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“We had a discussion about different dimensions of what I know in relation to the construction firm.

“It was really just around what information I had in relation to that so I gave it to them.

“They were pretty sharp individuals so hopefully they have the wherewithal to sort it. I gave them the names and they’ve got to now investigate.”

The Independent TD said he did not give the officers any documentation. “I didn’t have any to give them. Just gave them any relevant information I had,” he said.

Last week the Nama chief executive asked the Garda Commissioner to investigate the allegations made by Mr Wallace.

Brendan McDonagh wrote to Garda Commissioner Noreen O’Sullivan requesting she investigate Mr Wallace’s claims.

“The allegation, if not investigated as a matter of urgency, casts a shadow over all Nama officers and, accordingly, we will ask that the Deputy’s allegation, including any evidence that he may claim to possess, be investigated as a matter of urgency,” Mr McDonagh said in a statement last week.

Under parliamentary privilege in the Dáil on Wednesday, Mr Wallace said the manager of a portfolio in Nama told a construction firm looking to exit the agency that “it will cost you €15,000 in cash and I want it in a bag”.

He said the construction firm paid the money and a few weeks later “he demanded the same again. They duly obliged and all was sorted.”

In a statement Nama said the allegation that an employee had demanded and accepted a bribe “cast a shadow over all Nama officers”.

Mr McDonagh said Mr Wallace had not provided the agency with any information relating to his comments in the Dáil.

Mary Minihan

Mary Minihan

Mary Minihan is Acting Features Editor of The Irish Times