A SENIOR GARDA officer has been appointed to liaise with NAMA over the allegations that have emerged about the agency in recent days, the Taoiseach has told the Dáil.
Enda Kenny was responding to questions from the Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin who said that a senator from his party will be sending material to the gardaí containing “very serious allegations” about the State’s bad bank.
Martin said that one of the allegations being made is that an entire file in relation to a person whose loan book was with NAMA was sent to a partner in a “major global property company who was acting on behalf of that person’s rival”.
The opposition leader said that this would be a “shocking fact if proven to be true” as he disclosed further claims that property valuations are being manipulated, quoting from the documentation that Senator Darragh O’Brien plans to hand to gardaí.
The Taoiseach said that the government “takes this very seriously”.
He said that the Minister for Justice was informed by the Garda Commissioner this morning that there was contact between NAMA and the gardaí earlier this year regarding complaints about a second former employee at the agency and that this is an ongoing investigation.
“NAMA will assist them [gardaí] insofar as possible within the constraints of ongoing investigations,” Kenny told Martin.
He also said that NAMA is required in the sale of all loans, assets or property to have an independent valuation done.
There was also a dispute over the release of Freedom of Information requests to the Department of Finance in relation to NAMA. Martin siad that only six of 19 requests made in 2012 have been released and called for the rest of these documents to be disclosed.
Kenny said that the Minister for Finance has “neither sight nor function” of what the FOI officer in his department agrees to release or not release.
The Taoiseach also said that in respect of a complaint from a firm of solicitors acting on behalf of a client of NAMA the gardaí are awaiting further information from the solicitors about this case.
“I can’t tell you how long that’s going to take or what information is involved there either,” he said.
Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams raised the issue of the HSE Service Plan and planned cuts to health services next year.
Kenny said he agreed that it would be a “challenging year” for health and that Sinn Féin would never be satisfied no matter what level of funding that was committed to health. He highlighted some of the funding committed to other areas of the health service next year.
The Taoiseach also insisted that the government had not “thrown in the towel” on retroactive recapitalisation of the State’s own banks as suggested by United Left TD Joan Collins.
“This is very much a live issue in respect of complex and technical negotiations that will continue to take place,” he told Collins.