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NAMA fights back against claims of illegality

NAMA’s bosses told an Oireachtas committee this morning that although they have not been presented with the specific allegations, they are “satisfied that they are unfounded”.

NAMA Chairman Frank Daly and CEO Brendan McDonagh pictured on their way into Leinster House.
NAMA Chairman Frank Daly and CEO Brendan McDonagh pictured on their way into Leinster House.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

NAMA HAS COME out strongly against a number of claims made against it saying misinformation has been released as part of an “organised campaign to discredit” the agency.

NAMA CEO Brendan McDonagh and chairman Frank Daly were both appearing before the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee this morning following allegations of illegality at the state’s bad bank.

In a pointed defence to the claims, McDonagh said that NAMA has not itself been provided with the allegations and has only learned about them through the media.

Despite this, McDonagh said this morning that, from what the agency understands of the claims, they are “satisfied that they are unfounded”.

McDonagh address two specific allegations that have been aired by the media and in the Dáil during the week.

The first allegation was a claim by former NAMA employee Enda Farrell that he leaked a ‘full file’ of personal information on property developer Paddy McKillen to a third-party.

McDonagh said that, not only did this claim contradict previous sworn statements by Farrell, but that a review taken over the last 36 hours shows that there was no electronic communications between Farrell and the third-party.

Furthermore, McDonagh said that NAMA holds “very little” information on McKillen because they did not acquire his loads:

NAMA has never possessed this information in relation to Mr. McKillen because, as the Committee will be aware, the NAMA Board took a decision in July 2011 not to acquire Mr McKillen’s loans. Such information is usually provided as part of a debtor’s business plan submission and in this case, as we did not acquire the loans, no business plan was submitted.

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NAMA’S Frank Daly says people are trying to discredit NAMA for their own ends. (Pic: Oireachtas/ Screengrab)

Valuations

The second allegation addressed during the committee session was that a claim that NAMA had deliberately manipulated the valuation of property which was collateral for its acquired loans.

“NAMA utterly refutes this allegation,” said McDonagh.

He outlined the property valuation process which he says first involves the relevant financial institution appointing an independent valuer. NAMA then appoint their own valuer which reviews the first valuation, in 88 per cent of cases the NAMA panel accepted the original valuation said McDonagh

In the 12 per cent of cases where there is a difference between the two valuations, a third valuer is appointed and their valuation is accepted.

NAMA’s chairman Frank Daly outlined what he felt was “an organised campaign to hinder effectiveness of NAMA and influence its decisions” but said that NAMA “would not be distracted” from its goals.

“We seem to to be one of the few people in Dublin who aren’t in possession of this allegations,” he added.

Daly said that the agency “does not believe everything our debtors tell us” and questioned the credence that the media and certain politicians have given to the allegations.

McDonagh echoed this claim that people are seeking to harm NAMA for their own ends:

Some will intend to discredit NAMA for their own purpose under theory that if enough mud is thrown some of it will stick. Unfortunately, in every walk of life there are bad eggs but in our case thankfully they have been very few.

Read: Taoiseach says senior garda to liaise with NAMA over allegations >

Read: NAMA to be called before Public Accounts Committee over leak allegations >

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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