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'No one in my family got one penny from the Nama deal'

“I have lived my public life on the basis of doing things for the public and in the public interest.”

PastedImage-98604 Source: BBC News

NORTHERN IRELAND FIRST Minister Peter Robinson has said no one in his family nor any ministers received funds following the sale of Nama’s Northern Ireland loan book.

This sale, known as Project Eagle, is central to allegations made in the Dáil by independent TD Mick Wallace that £7 million ended up in an Isle of Man bank account following this deal, reportedly earmarked for a Northern Ireland politician.

The loans, estimated to be worth €5.7 billion, were bought by the US investment firm for €1.5 billion last year.

The chair of Nama, Frank Daly, has insisted that the sale was part of a robust, competitive process.

Robinson also lashed out at questions his son, Gareth Robinson, faced in the past week after The Irish News reported that his communications firm worked for the legal firm involved in the controversy.

In a statement to the BBC, Verbatim Communications said that it had “at no time” been involved in the sale of the assets.

The DUP politician said his son was the target of a”witch hunt”.

When asked by the BBC whether he or anyone in his family benefited from the sale of Project Eagle, Robinson said he was “somewhat offended by the question”.

“I have lived my public life on the basis of doing things for the public and in the public interest,” he told the broadcaster.

Not one penny was coming to anybody in my life, or in the party, as a result of this deal.

Robinson said the only thing the ministers involved would get out of it “was to see in teh skyline that building cranes were moving again, that people were getting employed in the construction industry”.

The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) confirmed on Thursday that it will investigate the sale.

The PSNI had agreed that there was enough concern in relation to potential criminal activity around the sale to warrant an investigation.

The north’s police force had subsequently been in contact with the NCA with regard to their heading up the investigation.

Read: Nama wants to set the story straight on the Mick Wallace allegations >

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Nicky Ryan

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