Tag Archives: Nama


Gavin Sheridan, of TheStory.ie

The FOI-inator Gavin Sheridan has been battling for five years to seek certain information in relation to NAMA.

Writing on thestory.ie last week, he explained:

“Back in February 2010, we sent a request to NAMA seeking certain information under the Access to Information on the Environment (AIE) Regulations. NAMA had just been established. We sent a similar request to Anglo Irish Bank. Both rejected our requests on the basis that they did not see themselves as public authorities under those regulations. We disagreed.

“For 5 years the case has wound its way through the system, from a Commissioner ruling in September 2011 (which went in our favour), to High Court hearings in 2012 and two High Court judgments in early 2013 (the judge ruled against NAMA on both the substantive issue and on the issue of a stay, pending a Supreme Court appeal). We had to seek, and were granted, an expedited hearing after NAMA appealed both. There were almost two days of hearings in the Supreme Court in 2014, before five judges.”

“The issue to be decided, among others, is what the term “and includes” means in the Regulations, and whether NAMA/Anglo, by virtue of being listed in 3(1) under the definition of public authority at parts vi) and vii), are in fact public authorities.

“If the court rules as we believe it should, then NAMA becomes a public authority under AIE, and all bodies listed in parts i) to vii) of 3(1) of the Regulations become de facto public authorities (below), and we will finally have legal clarity.

(i) a Minister of the Government,

(ii) the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland,

(iii) a local authority for the purposes of the Local Government Act 2001 (No. 37 of 2001),

(iv) a harbour authority within the meaning of the Harbours Act 1946 (No. 9 of 1946),

(v) the Health Service Executive established under the Health Act 2004 (No. 42 of 2004),

(vi) a board or other body (but not including a company under the Companies Acts) established by or under statute,

(vii) a company under the Companies Acts, in which all the shares are held—

(I) by or on behalf of a Minister of the Government,

(II) by directors appointed by a Minister of the Government,

(III) by a board or other body within the meaning of paragraph (vi), or

(IV) by a company to which subparagraph (I) or (II) applies, having public administrative functions and responsibilities, and possessing environmental information;

Well, the judgment is in…

Fair play in fairness.

Read this morning’s judgment in full here

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He’s back, baby.

‘Neur we to judge?

Ronan on verge of Nama exit backed by $20bn US fund (Tom Lyons, Irish Times)

Previously: Rooney, Ronan, Rosanna And Glenda: That Weekend Love Rectangle In Full

That Kind Of Week


The premises on a 0.68 acre site at the corner of Sir John Rogerson’s Quay and Creighton Street, Dublin.

2000-2007: Site is acquired as part of a larger proposed development assembled by Bernard McNamara and Derek Quinlan.

November 2010: Nama take control of site

June 2013: Nama sells to Urbanest [student hostels] for €7.5 million

February 2014: Planning permission for hostel refused.

March-June: Urbanest sell to a “group of private investors” for €10 million

August 2014: Hibernia Reit purchases site for €17.5 million and will form part of a ‘larger development’.

Good times.


NAMA site was sold for double the price after barely a year (Peter FlanaganIndependent)

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Nama CEO Brendan McDonagh

Dublin house prices are still not high enough to attract new builders, [Nama CEO Brendan McDonagh] said, even though July figures from the Central Statistics Office showed a 23pc rise in prices across the county.

“People talk about why isn’t there houses being built in Dublin… The reality is, the reason they are not being built is because there really isn’t enough profit for the private investor to invest his capital into it. If prices drop, he mightn’t get his money back. So I think prices will continue to correct.

The chief executive of the bad debt agency added that price rises have meant some properties earmarked for social housing have instead been sold.

Nama made 5,500 units under its control available to the Department of the Environment and Housing Agency, so that they could be used for social housing purposes, in an attempt to address the massive shortage of available properties for people on the housing register.

But just 2,000 of these were accepted, in part because price rises have taken many apartments out of negative equity, allowing debtors to sell them.

House price rises needed to ease homes shortage: Nama chief (Sarah McCabe, Sunday Independent)

Meanwhile, also in the Sunday Independent…

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Well healed, eh?



Nama chief executive Brendan McDonagh and chairman Frank Daly at the launch of NAMA annual report 2013 in May

Donal O’Donovan, of the Irish Independent, reports:

NAMA is to invest up to €1.8bn to provide high end office space in the Dublin docklands area, the agency’s chief executive Brendan McDonagh said at an event in Dublin.

Infrastructure required by “cash strapped local authorities” and Irish Water is also being paid for by the agency, he said.

In order to plan housing investment the agency, along with the IBF, paid for the ESRI to undertake “serious research” that has established real demand out to 2030, he said.

NAMA to invest up to €1.8bn in office space at Dublin Docklands (Independent.ie)

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Nama chief executive Brendan McDonagh and chairman Frank Daly at the launch of NAMA annual report 2013 in May

RTÉ reports that Nama identified more than 5,200 homes as potentially suitable for social housing.

But that only 736 have actually been delivered for such housing.

Local authorities rejected some 2,800 of the homes because they were believed to be unsuitable.

It adds:

Spokesperson for homeless charity Focus Ireland, Mike Allen says NAMA must concentrate on delivering substantial numbers of quality social housing units:

“The units have been turned down by local authorities as unsuitable for social housing now that might be that they are just badly built and they would be a huge liability or it might be that they are in areas where there is already a very high density of local authority housing and it’s not appropriate to have more.

The simple fact is that not enough homes are coming through to us from NAMA and that’s an absolute fact which we would stand over and say that something should be done about,” he said.

Calls for NAMA to focus on creating better quality social housing (RTÉ)

Previously: Nama And The Rise In Property Prices

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Last night, on TV3’s Tonight With Vincent Browne, hosted by Dearbhail McDonald, the panel included Fintan O’Toole, of the Irish Times; barrister Ross Maguire, of New Beginning; Mary Freehill, Labour councillor at Dublin City Council; and Thomas Byrne, of Fianna Fáil.

They discussed Nama’s recent rejection of New Beginning’s €20million offer for the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre – with the group intending to hold it as a public trust – in favour of open market bids.

Following on from this discussion, they talked about how a section in the Nama act allows the Minister for Finance to direct Nama to contribute to the social and economic development of the State.

They also spoke about the recent rise in property prices and Nama’s role in this.

From their discussion…

Dearbhail McDonald: “When we look at where we are now, all roads lead back to the Bank Guarantee, all roads lead back to that period of time. Nama is a special purpose vehicle, the largest property company, development company, land company, in the world, probably. Is it time to revisit the act, it’s done its initial job of taking the bad loans from the banks and it was a reaction to, it dealt with the commercial end of the crisis but when you look at, only less than 800 borrowers, it didn’t really look after the residential, could it ever actually fulfil a social and economic purpose?”

Fintan O’Toole: “No, and…”

McDonald: “Under the terms of the act, as it was written?”

O’Toole: “The whole Nama saga really, you know, is highly dubious it seems to me. What did we do? I mean, just stand back from it. It was transferring assets from one set of State-owned agencies to another set of State-owned agencies, at enormous cost. They set aside €2billion in fees, in order to do this…”

McDonald: “Over the lifetime…”

O’Toole: “Over the lifetime of Nama. Now people get very upset about Irish Water, for example, and the amount of money that was spent on the consultants. I mean it’s a tiny, tiny, tiny, excuse the awful pun, drop in the ocean, compared to…”

McDonald: “Now, Nama would since come out and say ‘look, those were initial projections, they have now come in at significantly less’. But when you perhaps look at that, compared to the operation, Ross, of…”

O’Toole: “The fact is they were willing, they were willing to spend that, you know. So, yes, they may come in at less but they set it aside. Whether they set it aside to make sure that the professional classes were going to be looked after first… and what was achieved by all of this? I mean we have banks, we have banks which have debt recovery agencies, you know. Of course some of them might have needed to boosted in the wake of the crash but this whole thing – what did it do?It made the State into a giant debt collection agency and it’s having hugely corrosive effects. We’re seeing them already. Nobody has asked the question, for example, is it in the interests of the citizens of Ireland, long-term, for property prices to rise. The reason property prices are rising is because we’ve got this massive investment in Nama and Nama has to be seen to be a political success…”

McDonald: “Is that the overriding prerogative…”

O’Toole: “But is it actually good for social development? Is it actually good for economic development? Is it good that commercial rents have risen to a point again, where they…”

Thomas Byrne: “Nama is not the cause of that. I mean people who opposed Nama at the start, said that ‘oh property prices will never go up’ and therefore, ‘your calculations and projections are wrong’. Now, you’re attributing to Nama, it seems to me, the increase in property prices. There are other reasons for it.”

O’Toole: “No, hold on, what I am saying is that the political imperative was then built into the system whereby we all acquired a sort of vested interest in property prices continuing to rise. A really interesting example was the promise to end the practice of upward-only rent reviews, which was crucial to small businesses, right? That was abandoned. Why? Because it didn’t suit Nama because Nama had huge interests in rent rolls and all the rest of it.”

Watch back in full here

ofMichael O’Flynn

Last night, Cork property developer Michael O’Flynn was interviewed by Paschal Sheehy on the Six One News about losing control of his business to Blackstone, a US company which had purchased Mr O’Flynn’s loans from NAMA.

He said the following:

I was shocked. My intention was absolutely to work collaboratively with Blackstone. It has always been my policy, whoever local authorities, State agencies, the IDA. Whether you borrow a million, ten million or 1.8 billion it’s always about did you borrow responsibly? And I can tell you Paschal we have always borrowed responsibly. Of course we have had situations where there has been an extraordinary collapse in price, in value and no more than a householder who bought a house and is in negative equity. Like, are they responsible for the negative equity that they find themselves in? We have done our business right. We have always tried to do our business in a proper fashion, we will continue to do so.

Watch here.



Michael O’Flynn featured in RTÉ’s Prime Time documentary ‘Carry On Regardless’ in December 2010 about the lifestyle of Irish property developers in NAMA, where he was filmed flying by helicopter with his family to Down Royal from his Cork home to watch his racehorse finish third.

Mr O’Flynn also received a reported €50,000 from Lucinda Creighton in a defamation case in the High Court in 2012, part of which he donated to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin.

Fair play though, in fairness.

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Nama chairman Frank Daly and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan at a formal review of the Nama’s operations this morning

RTÉ reports:

The report finds NAMA is ahead of schedule and anticipates being in a position to dispose of its assets more quickly than originally envisaged.

The agency is expected to have paid back more than 80% of its senior debt of €30.2bn by 2016, two years ahead of target.

NAMA should be able to repay its debt – Department of Finance (RTÉ)

Read the full 52-page review here

Via Merrion Street