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Mick Wallace has published his Project Eagle correspondence with Nama...

The independent TD has called for a commission of inquiry to be set up to investigate claims surrounding the state agency.

27/11/2014 Justice for All Press Conferences Source: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

Updated 20.05

TD MICK WALLACE has published email correspondence with Nama with regard to the agency’s involvement with the US company Cerberus and the sale of the Northern Irish property portfolio, otherwise known as Project Eagle.

Wallace claims the emails (published here on his website) detail the Wexford TD’s correspondence with the state asset management agency on 23 and 28 October.

At Leader’s Questions in the Dáil yesterday Wallace claimed that Nama’s responses to him at that time had been “untruths”.

In the emails Wallace had queried as to whether or not Ronnie Hanna (head of asset management at Nama), along with former Nama adviser Frank Cushnahan and accountant David Watters, had ever met with any US investment fund personnel.

“No, Mr Hanna had no such meetings with these individuals,” reads the reply that Wallace has published.

wallace Source: Mick Wallace

Wallace claims he has chosen to publish the mails given Nama had gone “to great lengths” to distort his contribution at Leader’s Questions.

“Given the fact that Nama have gone to great lengths to distort my contribution at Leader’s Questions yesterday, re their handling of the Northern Ireland loan portfolio, Project Eagle, I thought it best to publicise the questions and answers, which were contained in my last correspondence with the agency,” he said in his release.

In response, a Nama spokesman told TheJournal.ie: “we published an extract from this correspondence ourselves yesterday”.

That extract proves the opposite of what Mr Wallace is claiming.

Yesterday

Nama hit back at Wallace yesterday after he told the Dáil the agency had provided him with ‘untrue’ answers over meetings with a US investment fund.

Speaking during Leaders’ Questions, the independent TD called for a commission of inquiry to be set up to investigate Nama.

The deputy said he has been co-operating with gardaí on a number of issues in relation to the agency.

Wallace has previously raised concerns over the sale of the Project Eagle loan portfolio to US company Cerberus.

It has been claimed that a number of politicians in Northern Ireland would benefit from the sale.

Wallace made several more claims of “deliberate interference” in the sale this afternoon.

Tánaiste Joan Burton responded by saying there are no claims of any wrongdoing in the sale of the portfolio, and she repeated her call for Wallace to bring his claims to the Public Accounts Committee.

Wallace told the Dáil today that he had submitted a number of questions to the agency in recent weeks. One question was:

Did Ronnie Hanna, along with Frank Cushnahan or David Watters, ever meet with any US investment fund personnel?

The reply he received was:

No, Mr. Hanna had no such meetings with these individuals.

Wallace continued: “Now Tánaiste, we know now that Ronnie Hanna, head of asset recovery in Nama, did meet at least one of the US investment funds, at least.”

“Nama’s answer to my question is not true.”

He later described it as shocking that the Tánaiste “doesn’t seem to have a problem” with him being told “untruths”.

30/5/2013 NAMA'S Annual Reports Nama's headquarters in the Treasury Building, Dublin Source: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

In a strong defence regarding  the deputy’s claims, which were made under privilege, a Nama spokesperson said that “at no stage did Nama ever claim to Deputy Wallace that Ronnie Hanna never met with US investment funds”.

“Meeting these funds was part of his job as head of asset recovery. He never met them with the two people named in Deputy Wallace’s question,” they continued.

It is not clear why Deputy Wallace has misrepresented Nama’s response to his question.

The spokesperson added:

Deputy Wallace has been unable to substantiate any of the false claims of wrongdoing by Nama that he has made over the past number of months. Today’s claims are no different. It is not clear why Deputy Wallace continues to make false claims that he cannot substantiate.

The Tánaiste also claimed today that Mick Wallace’s repeated questioning of affairs within Nama was due to his “own unfortunate experience” and that he “understandably [has] a very strong vested interest” as someone who was involved in the building trade and suffered from the economic downturn himself.

tansite

Wallace responded: “Any allegations I’ve made against Nama have zero to do with my business. I had no interaction with Nama through my business, never had, and I didn’t go into Nama.”

“It has nothing to do with me, it has to do with the Irish people. [Nama] have failed to serve them properly.”

The Tánaiste later dialled her criticism back:

I appreciate your concern in the matter, and if you have had no contact with Nama, I accept that, but I’ve certainly seen in the public media, and I’m aware that you were a, I think, a very fine developer and builder who lost out as so many others did in the course of the property collapse in Ireland…

Additional reporting Cianan Brennan

Originally published 26 November, 2015

Comments are closed on this article because of ongoing legal proceedings

Watch: Mick Wallace accuses Enda Kenny of Nama “cover-up”

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