The Eagle Has Landed

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Blogger Jamie Bryson speaking at Northern Ireland Finance Committee this morning

And in the Dáil this morning during Leaders’ Questions…

Micheál Martin: “I want to raise with the Taoiseach the sale of NAMA’s Northern Ireland loan book, known as Project Eagle. This is the largest sale in which NAMA has engaged to date. We know from correspondence to the Minister, Deputy Noonan, at the time that even though misgivings were raised by one of the bidders – Pimco, which made NAMA aware of fee arrangements with third parties including NAMA’s adviser on the Northern Ireland advisory committee – the Minister did not suggest to NAMA that the whole thing should be stopped in light of the stench that was emerging at that early stage. Of course, we know about the fee arrangements between the solicitors’ firms – Brown Rudnick and Tughans – and third parties. Deputy Wallace has alluded to this in the Dáil. Again, no attempt was made stop the deal. People ticked the boxes and said they got assurances when Cerberus came in, despite the fact that they used the same solicitors’ firms and the same fee arrangements to which NAMA had been alerted by Pimco. When I raised this issue with the Taoiseach in July of this year, I outlined all of my concerns. There are fundamental issues here because it involves the taxpayer. According to a report in this morning’s The Irish News:

One of the bidders for Nama’s northern debt portfolio expressed concern in a letter to the Taoiseach’s office over the business practices of third parties leading up to the £1.2bn sale. Fortress Investment Group, [apparently] one of the final three potential buyers alongside US rivals Pimco and Cerberus Capital Management, is understood to have sent the letter to the Department of the Taoiseach in February 2014.

An Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett: “A question, please.”

Martin: “It seems that this letter “complained about business practices leading up to the sale of Nama’s loan book, dubbed Project Eagle”. Can the Taoiseach confirm that such a letter was sent to him and his Department? If so, can he confirm the contents of that letter and will he make arrangements to publish that letter? The Minister, Deputy Noonan, did not alert the Dáil at any stage about this entire saga until it was raised by a Deputy in the House. It is important for the Taoiseach to indicate whether he received such a letter. What happened in relation to any correspondence he received? What is his current position in relation to the ongoing investigations into Project Eagle?”

Enda Kenny: “This is a matter of very considerable concern. Obviously, questions about it have been raised and answered here previously. I think the Deputy said that a letter was sent to the office of the Taoiseach in February 2014. Is that his information?”

Martin: “That is what is being said.”

Kenny: “Yes. I do not know, but I will have it checked immediately. If such a letter was received, I will see what happened in respect of it being replied to or where that was sent to, I will have the letter published and I will come back to Deputy Martin as soon as possible. As I stand here, I cannot recall receiving a letter in February 2014. If the Deputy says it was sent to the office of the Taoiseach, I am sure there is a record. I will have it checked and I will respond to the Deputy as soon as I can.”

Martin: “I would appreciate it if the Taoiseach would do that. It appears that his office was asked to do so yesterday, but it did not respond to the questions that were put to it regarding this correspondence.”

Transcript via Oireachtas.ie

Hearing hears blogger claim of Robinson NAMA payment (RTE)

Previously: Project Eagle And The €3.5million Haircut

Pic: BBC Newsline

23 thoughts on “The Eagle Has Landed

  1. Joe cool

    Surely this name business is getting in the way of Peters hospital trips and dissolving the assembly. We can’t be having that

    1. Ultach

      Under pawwamentawy pwivwidge. At least that’s what he said.
      (Yes, I know it’s a cheap shot to mock someone’s speech impediment, but I make an exception for Jamie).

  2. Ronan

    Worth checking back on his evidence to see how he references the Fortress Investment Group. If his evidence is to believed then they contact with the Taoiseach could be viewed in a completely different light.

  3. ABM's Bloodied Underwear

    Ever notice that when Enda interacts with the public, it turns out to be make believe such as people ringing him to check that their wages haven’t been vastly inflated by some accounting error, or someone following him around from week to week, giving out while carrying 2 pints.

    However, when he’s questioned about real world interaction with senior figures in the establishment, he has no recollection whatsoever?

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