‘Something Rotten In The State Of Denmark’

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Yesterday.

During Leaders’ Questions, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin again raised the controversial sale of Project Eagle by Nama in Northern Ireland.

It followed Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams calling for a Commission of Investigation into the sale twice in the past two weeks.

Mr Martin said there are rumours that further arrests are on the way in relation to the sale – following the arrest in May of two men in Co. Down on suspicion of fraud offences, by the British National Crime Agency.

They’ve since been released on bail.

In response, Taoiseach Enda Kenny maintained that the sale was “was executed in a proper manner” – echoing his previous responses to Mr Adams.

From their exchange:

Micheál Martin: “The UK’s National Crime Agency is investigating this. There have been two arrests and there are rumours of more arrests on the way. It is being investigated in the United States. The Northern Ireland finance committee has had an inquiry. At the very least, NAMA should have attended that inquiry. It is the biggest sale since the agency was established and there are huge concerns about it. Yet we, in the Republic, seem to have adopted an attitude that there is nothing to see here, that everything is fine on this side of the equation.”

“I put it to the Taoiseach that at the time that PIMCO revealed that people were seeking fees, surely that was the time for the entire deal to be called off, for both NAMA and the Minister for Finance, who was alerted to it, to call a halt to that deal and say there were too many questions about it. It was something from which they should have pulled back. The Irish taxpayer lost out to an extraordinary degree but worst than that, the deal is tainted, of that there can be no question.”

An Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl: “Has the Deputy a question?”

Martin: “All of this could have been avoided if the Government had not decided to sell such large blocks of assets under NAMA and to force the pace in terms of accelerating the disposal of assets at steeper discounts than were necessary.”

Later

Enda Kenny: “On Deputy Martin’s point in respect of NAMA and Project Eagle, I want him to understand that, as I have said here on many occasions, I am informed that this loan sell was executed in a proper manner. Despite all the comments and allegations, there are no claims of wrongdoing against NAMA. That loan portfolio was sold following an open process to the highest bidder for what it was worth. NAMA paid no moneys to any party on this loan sale against whom allegations of wrongdoing are now being made. Anyone with evidence of wrongdoing needs to report it immediately to the proper authorities, as I am sure Deputy Martin will do if he has information in that regard.”

“The Government and NAMA take very seriously, and why should they not, any accusations of NAMA employees or former employees breaching the NAMA Act.”

Later

Martin: “A consistent thread in the Taoiseach’s replies to various people on this question during the last Dáil and this one is that there has been no wrongdoing on NAMA’s behalf.

Kenny: I said “No allegations of wrongdoing against NAMA”.

Martin: “The allegations are about the deal. That is the point but the Taoiseach keeps almost deliberately ignoring it. The allegations are about the entirety of the deal, its ethics and its rightness or wrongness. Surely, when people heard that there was up to €7 million in an offshore account, it raised eyebrows. Surely, the deal should have been called off when PIMCO alerted NAMA to elements of what was going on and when the Minister for Finance, Deputy Noonan, was himself alerted to what was going on at that stage. There is no point in saying that everything on our side was fine and we have covered our backs, that all our paperwork is clear and clean in the Republic and in NAMA headquarters and the fact that others may have got up to all kinds of activity is of no concern to us.

Ó Fearghaíl: “I thank the Deputy.”

Martin: “That is what has come back to us in regard to this. It is the sense that has come from Ministers, the Taoiseach and NAMA in a very defensive mode. Instead of saying that if something is rotten in the state of Denmark in regard to this deal, it is in our interests to tackle and deal with it.

Ó Fearghaíl: “Thank you, Deputy.”

Martin: “Did it ever occur to the Taoiseach that we should have set up a commission of investigation when the National Crime Agency, the US Securities and Exchange Commission and others were pursuing this? The Taoiseach mentioned the Northern Assembly. There seems to be a sense of a connection and a nexus between politics and all of this in the North as well. That may emerge in the coming weeks.

Ó Fearghaíl: “Deputy, the time has elapsed. Thank you.”

Martin: “I put to the Taoiseach the question of whether he ever asked the Minister of Finance, Deputy Michael Noonan, the question as to why the shutters were not pulled down on this deal when PIMCO gave its information to NAMA in regard to third parties.”

Kenny: “If Deputy Martin makes the case, the Government is in no way defensive about this issue. If there is something rotten, as the Deputy says, in the state of Denmark relative to this case, what he is saying is that the process by which this sale was completed was wrong, was not up to standard and was not in accordance with proper procedure. I am informed that the sale was conducted under proper conditions, that it was sold following an open process to the highest bidder for what it was worth.”

Martin:Someone pocketed €7 million.”

Kenny:Is that right or is it not right? That is what I am informed. If I am being misinformed here, if somebody has got evidence to that effect, I would certainly like to hear it. The Deputy makes the point that the sale should have been stopped. Where is the evidence that the process that was followed was not open—–”

Gerry Adams: “The €7 million.”

Kenny: “—–was not above board—–”

Martin: “The offshore account.”

Kenny: “—–and was not fair?”

Adams: “There are seven million reasons.”

Ó Fearghaíl: “One speaker, please.”

Martin: “The offshore account and the money paid in fixers’ fees.”

Ó Fearghaíl: “The Taoiseach to conclude.”

Kenny: “In the sale being concluded, the information that I am given, standing here in the position that I hold, is that this was conducted in a proper and open process, and was sold to the highest bidder for what it was worth….”

Meanwhile, last week…

And yesterday…

Previously: ‘Nama Has Done Nothing Wrong’

‘Nobody Had Presented Me With Evidence Of Wrongdoing By Nama’

Dáil transcript: Oireachtas.ie

11 thoughts on “‘Something Rotten In The State Of Denmark’

  1. Kolmo

    The Taxpayer is getting ridden from day 1, they didn’t even buy us dinner. “the government can’t interfere in the free-market” ad infinitum until the semi-literate hot-shot ego-ape willy-wavers predictably over-extend themselves, then the infinitely deep pockets of the Taxpayer will bail these gamblers out…
    look. at. the. state. of .the. place.

  2. Walter-Ego

    Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t Fianna Fall set up Nama with all the secrecy walls put in place?

    1. dav

      whataboutery. Fiana Fail are traitorous pondscum. but fg have taken up the toxic baton of corruption to the next level.

      1. Walter-Ego

        Not whataboutery, just pointing out the hypocrisy. By the way totally agree with FG taking up the toxic baton of corruption to the next level.

  3. 15 cents

    you always know when Kenny is covering up something or avoiding answering honestly, when he keeps repeating lines word for word, coz he’s learned them off. given enough rope he’ll eventually hang himself.. but as we’ve seen .. no matter how many blunders he makes .. somehow he’s still there. coz when it comes to voting, the people who vote for him dont ever find out about stuff like this. the mighty masses of the misinformed and/or ignorant will keep the likes of him in power.

  4. Kieran NYC

    Baffles me why Kenny would be so supportive of NAMA on this, when clearly there’s so much more to come out. Why doesn’t he keep NAMA at arms length? Not as if there’s any love lost there.

    Even the blind can see from a mile off that this will end up hurting them at some point.

    And great point from NAMAWineLakes – the opposition need to prove they want to do more than snipe from the sidelines and blame FG.

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