Nama: Developer Johnny Ronan launches scathing attack on government body
Developer Johnny Ronan has launched a scathing attack on Nama, claiming they made decisions based on personal likes and dislikes and destroyed his business.
In a submission to the Republic's Banking Inquiry Mr Ronan says that having civil servants run what is described as the largest property company in the world is “akin to asking an accountant to fly an airplane or a butcher to perform heart surgery”.
However he says that nobody who has debts in Nama is willing to “challenge” the agency or “disclose the truth about how they operate, for fear that Nama will immediately enforce their debts”.
Mr Ronan’s company Treasury Holdings has just exited Nama after repaying €300m in debt.
He outlines that his relationship with Nama started well and his staff were “instructed to engage fully with NAMA and provide whatever information and assistance it required”.
But he goes on to write that the “actions of certain individuals in Nama” caused the relationship to deteriorate significant and ultimately resulted in his business being destroyed.
“Nama by its founding legislation, was granted such wide reaching and potentially unconstitutional powers that, unless it came under constant and careful scrutiny, it was always open to abuse,” he said.
“In addition, it seemed to me, Nama was granted an endless financial budget to engage legal, public relations and other professionals to ensure that it would always have the financial muscle to win every argument.”
Concluding his statement he says: “In my experience, they made decisions based on personal likes and dis-likes, which gave little or no consideration to the ultimate return for the Irish taxpayer.”
He finishes his statement with the line ‘Arbeit macht frei’ which is a German phrase meaning “work makes (you) free”.
The slogan was commonly found in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, including Auschwitz.