Friday 23 August 2019

Wallace told to take his Nama concerns to gardai

Deputy Mick Wallace.
Deputy Mick Wallace.

David tucker

WEXFORD Deputy Mick Wallace has been told to go to the gardai over his concerns about the sale of 850 Nama properties with a value of €4.5 billion for €1.5 billion.

'If what you're saying is correct, you should go to the gardaí,' Tainaiste Joan Burton told Deputy Wallace during a Dail during leaders' questions in the Dáil on Thursday (July 2).

Mr Wallace said Nama had sold 850 properties to a US firm in what was called 'Project Eagle', accusing the National Assets Management Agency of cherry picking its best properties to be sold to what he termed American 'vulture funds'.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny reiterated the independence of Nama and the presence of a good oversight mechanism, however Deputy Wallace was not to be silenced.

He said rents in Dublin were going through the roof because huge numbers of apartments, including ones he developed, had been sold 'en bloc' rather than individually, for less than half the amount that it would cost to build them today.

Deputy Wallace said that following a meeting in June 2012 between Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and his then Northern counterpart Sammy Wilson, two appointments were made to Nama.

Both were subsequently named in a 'damning' Northern Ireland Auditor's Office report on the North's Housing Executive, where land for sale was undervalued. Mr Wallace said despite the report they remained in Nama until 2014.

And he claimed a routine audit of a Belfast-based legal firm involved in the Project Eagle sale showed up £7 million in an Isle of Man account for donations to political parties.

Deputy Wallace said that in 2009, Ms Burton favoured an oversight committee for Nama and he asked if she would bring the idea forward again.

Saying that she was not familiar with the case he mentioned, Ms. Burton said Comptroller & Auditor General had a very specific role in relation to the oversight of Nama and had produced three reports which were 'broadly positive'. She said she agreed the approach to the establishment of Nama adopted by the previous government.

Wexford People

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