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Supreme Court rejects McKillen claims of NAMA unconstitutionality

McKillen can be consulted for input before his loans are acquired, the Supreme Court rules, rejecting his other complaints.

THE SUPREME COURT has rejected appeals by property developer Paddy McKillen that the operations of the National Asset Management Agency are unconstitutional, dismissing a challenge against a section of the legislation that establishes it.

The court this morning dismissed arguments from McKillen that certain sections of the NAMA Act, the law that establishes the State’s so-called ‘bad bank’, were so broad that were effectively unconstitutional.

While the court said McKillen or any of his companies were entitled to be informed of NAMA’s intentions regarding their outstanding loans, and had the right to make any representations before decisions were made to acquire them.

Today’s Supreme Court judgment followed an earlier High Court case in which it was found that NAMA’s decisions to acquire McKillen’s individual loans were without legal basis, given that they were made by NAMA’s interim management before the NAMA Act itself was formally enacted.

As a result, the court had found, no official decision had been made by NAMA – during the period in which it was legally established – to acquire McKillen’s loans.

RTÉ News reported that McKillen was “estactic” with the findings. A hearing on costs has been deferred until after Easter.

McKillen and his companies owe a combined €2bn to banking institutions covered under NAMA’s operations.