TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has confirmed that the gardaí are actively investigating two complaints of alleged illegality at the National Asset Management Agency.
He was speaking in the wake of newspaper reports that a former NAMA official gave confidential information to individuals who shouldn’t have received it.
The matter was raised by Independent TD Stephen Donnelly in the course of Leaders’ Questions. The Wicklow TD said that the systems and procedures within the agency must be seen to be “beyond reproach”.
Kenny said the allegations were a matter the Government was taking “very seriously indeed”. He referred to two investigations involving NAMA that were currently in progress.
“Now I understand an investigation by an Garda Siochána into a complaint made by NAMA some time ago is at a very advanced stage, so I can’t comment on that,” the Taoiseach said.
“In August of this year, an Garda Siochána received a separate complaint from a firm of solicitors acting for a client relating to the alleged disclosure of information by NAMA.
“The gardaí have been waiting for the provision of further information from the solititors concerned and the gardaí will off course fully investigate any allegations of criminal activity.
“I understand that NAMA was informed by a journalist over the weekend that certain allegations had been made by a former employee about the activities of current and former NAMA staff.
“NAMA cannot and will not issue any public comment about any ongoing investigations, or the background to it, so as not to prejudice the outcome of any investigations.
He said NAMA had not been contacted by the gardaí in connection with these allegations, had no specific knowledge of them and would not be making any further comment on the matter.
‘Rocked to its core’
Fianna Fáil senator Daragh O’Brien said yesterday that he had information in his possession that showed impropriety by employees of NAMA, including the leaking of information. He added that he believed the information would “rock NAMA to its core”.
A statement released by the agency in response to his comments said that “if the Senator or any other party has evidence of any impropriety, they are legally obliged, under Section 19 of the Criminal Justice Act 2011, to bring it to the immediate attention of the Garda Siochána”.
That message was reiterated by the Taoiseach this evening: “Let me repeat that anybody who has information about improprieties or illegal actions or whatever else — let them bring them to the attention of the gardaí straight away”.