Independents call for inquiry into Nama’s Project Eagle sale

Independents 4 Change proposal to receive backing of Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin

Independents 4 Change has called for an investigation into the sale of Project Eagle by the National Asset Management Agency. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Independents 4 Change has called for an investigation into the sale of Project Eagle by the National Asset Management Agency. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

The Government could be forced to establish a commission of investigation this week into the sale of Project Eagle by the National Asset Management Agency.

Independents 4 Change, which consists of TDs Mick Wallace, Clare Daly, Thomas Pringle, Catherine Connolly and Joan Collins, has tabled a Private Members’ Motion calling for the transaction to be examined by a judge.

The proposal is to receive the backing of Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin, who have both called for an investigation.

The Government has consistently resisted calls for an inquiry, but now looks set to lose a vote in the Dáil this week.

Final decision

“There are a number of investigations under way into the sale including one by the National Crime Agency. The policing authorities are the best people to address this.

“Any commission of investigation would be hampered by the fact this transaction took place in a different jurisdiction. I don’t expect the Government’s position to change. This has been raised a number of times with Nama and the Government has full confidence in [its] decisions.”

The controversy centres on the sale of Project Eagle to US vulture fund Cerberus Capital Management.

The total loan book of Northern Ireland borrowers involved about 850 properties across Ireland and Britain and was sold for just over £1 billion (€1.3 billion), on a nominal value of £4.5 billion. Allegations then emerged that £7.5 million was held in an offshore account for “fixer” fees for the sale.

The Independents4Change motion calls for a commission which would be mandated to conduct a full and proper investigation into the sale and all the facts surrounding it.

It also requests a deadline to be enforced to ensure it is not a lengthy inquiry and the report to be published in full.

Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin are to support the motion, to be debated on Wednesday.