Three men questioned over Nama inquiry “coaching” claim

File sent to North’s Public Prosecution Service but one accused claims it is ‘nonsense’

The PSNI has interviewed three men in relation to how evidence was given to Stormont’s finance committee about the Nama inquiry.

Detective Superintendent Kevin Geddes said detectives from the PSNI's serious crime branch conducted planned interviews with three men aged 27, 32 and 34.

Those interviewed were the former Sinn Féin chairman of the Assembly finance committee Daithí McKay, Sinn Féin activist Thomas O'Hara, and loyalist blogger and flags protester Jamie Bryson, it is understood.

Det Supt Geddes said the interviews related to "criminal allegations surrounding the giving of evidence by an individual at a committee for finance meeting held in Stormont on the September 23rd 2015".


“All three have been reported to the PPS (Public Prosecution Service),” he said.


Mr Bryson confirmed on Wednesday night that he was interviewed about claims that he was coached by Mr McKay on how to make allegations of financial impropriety against former DUP first minister Peter Robinson over Nama.

"It's all a nonsense. There is no point to the PSNI investigation. There was no conspiracy. I was not coached by Sinn Féin," Mr Bryson told The Irish Times.

The PSNI is following up on the claim that Mr Bryson was coached with the assistance of Mr McKay and Mr O’Hara on how to make public allegations under the protection of Stormont privilege that Mr Robinson financially gained from the sale of the Nama properties in the £1.2 billion deal known as Project Eagle.

In 2015 Mr McKay was chairman of the Assembly finance committee which was hearing evidence relating to Nama and allegations that a “kickback” payout of £7 million was to be shared with some business and legal people and politicians.


Mr Robinson said at the time that Mr Bryson’s claims were “scurrilous and unfounded”. He accused Mr Bryson of delivering a “scripted performance that was little short of pantomime”.

As a result of the claims Mr McKay and Mr O’Hara were suspended from Sinn Féin and Mr McKay also resigned as an Assembly member. Mr McKay has since resigned from Sinn Féin.

Mr Bryson said on Wednesday night that he and Mr McKay and Mr O’Hara were separately interviewed about the coaching claims. “There was no coaching,” he said. “I am no friend of Sinn Féin and Sinn Féin is no friend of mine.”

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty is the former Northern editor of The Irish Times