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Former Nama adviser secretly recorded accepting almost €50k in car park

The recording was made in 2012, when Frank Cushnahan was still working as an adviser to Nama in Northern Ireland.

Source: TheDocumentaryChannel110/YouTube

BUSINESSMAN FRANK CUSHNAHAN has been secretly recorded accepting a £40,000 (about €48,000) cash payment from a Nama borrower.

The recording was made in a hospital car park in 2012, when Cushnahan was still working as an adviser to Nama.

A recording of a conversation between Cushnahan and property developer John Miskelly aired on BBC Spotlight last night.

frank Source: Screengrab/BBC Spotlight

Miskelly, once one of the richest people in Northern Ireland, can be heard saying Cushnahan has “proposed some deals to me”, adding: “I’m meeting him at the front entrance to the City Hospital in a blue Jaguar.”

The men are then heard discussing the £40,000 payment and Miskelly assures Cushnahan no one else knows about the meeting.

The programme claims Cushnahan said he would use his “insider status” to help ease Miskelly’s financial problems.

Cushnahan has denied any wrongdoing and told Spotlight he would not be commenting further due to the ongoing National Crime Agency investigation.

Miskelly added that any payments he has made “have been lawful”.

Dáil 

Speaking in the Dail today, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams called for a Commission of Investigation to be set up.

“Many of us have raised this issue consistently in the Dáil and there seems to be credibility in relation to what we have been asserting,” Adams said.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin suggested a cross-party meeting is “the best way forward to deal with the Project Eagle situation because there are very significant legal issues”.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he would look into this, but is unsure if it’s possible due to the ongoing criminal investigation in Northern Ireland.

Background 

In 2009, Nama was set up to deal with the collapse of the property bubble in Ireland.

It took on billions of euro worth of property development loans. Within that book was about £4.3 billion (over €5 billion) of Northern Ireland property loans.

frank face Frank Cushnahan Source: Screengrab/BBC Spotlight

Cushnahan, a former banker, was appointed to a Nama committee by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in May 2010 and served until November 2013.

Earlier this year, Spotlight alleged that Cushnahan was caught on camera saying he was due to be paid a ‘fixer’s fee’ of £5 million (€6.4 million) if a bid for the portfolio by US investment fund Pimco was successful. The deal collapsed in 2013.

A spokesperson for Nama told TheJournal.ie the organisation will not be commenting on the programme.

Nama’s dealings in Northern Ireland and the Republic have been raised in the Dáil on numerous occasions.

Last month, TDs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly were among a group of people who launched a “secure and anonymous” whistleblowing website called Namaleaks.

At the time, Wallace said the website “will allow for anyone who has been unfairly treated or who has witnessed poor practice by Nama, or by any investment funds currently operating within Ireland, to securely and anonymously deliver information relating to same”.

Comments are closed for legal reasons.

Read: Explainer: Why is everyone talking about Nama again?

Read: Mick Wallace and Clare Daly launch Nama whistleblowing website

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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