Belfast Telegraph

Daithi McKay: How the saga unfolded

June 2014: Cerberus Capital Management completes a £1.3bn deal to buy Nama's entire Northern Ireland loan portfolio. It gives the New York investment firm control of hundreds of properties.

January 2015: Ian Coulter, the managing partner of Belfast law firm Tughans, resigns from his role due to what is described at the time as an "internal matter".

July 2, 2015: Independent TD Mick Wallace makes a series of extraordinary claims in the Dail about the sale of Nama's Northern Ireland loanbook. Mr Wallace names Tughans as having acted for Cerberus and claims "a routine audit showed that £7m ended up in an Isle of Man bank account". He adds that "it was reportedly earmarked for a Northern Ireland politician".

Tughans denies Mr Wallace's allegations, saying: "The practice is not linked to any political party, nor has it ever made party political donations."

July 3, 2015: Tughans confirms Mr Coulter was the partner who left in a dispute over allegedly "diverted" fees linked to the Nama sale.

July 7, 2015: Stormont's finance committee, chaired by Sinn Fein MLA Daithi McKay, holds its first meeting over Nama. It produces a roll-call of individuals and organisations it wants evidence from.

July 8, 2015: The PSNI launches a criminal inquiry into Mr Wallace's allegations, with the National Crime Agency designated to take the lead role in the probe.

September 23, 2015: Loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson gives evidence to Stormont's finance committee and alleges five people were due to receive a share of a "success fee" linked to the Nama sale.

Mr Bryson alleges they are Peter Robinson, Frank Cushnahan, Ian Coulter, Andrew Creighton (a developer) and David Watters (an accountant). Mr Robinson says that the claim is "without one iota" of evidence.

September 24, 2015: Daithi McKay defends the finance committee's decision to take evidence in public from Jamie Bryson.

October 14, 2015: Appearing before the finance committee, Peter Robinson says it is "outrageous" to allege he was to benefit from the Nama sale. He said Mr Bryson's allegations were "groundless" and made "without a shred of evidence".

December 3, 2015: Former finance minister Sammy Wilson describes the finance committee's inquiry into Nama as "a Mickey Mouse exercise".

March 2016: The finance committee publishes a progress report on its eight-month long investigation into the Nama sale. It concludes that Stormont ministers and senior civil servants were out of their depth and had "insufficient" advice to deal with the sale.

May 2016: Two men are arrested by the National Crime Agency in connection with its investigation into Nama. They are later named as Frank Cushnahan, the former Nama advisor, and Ronnie Hanna, a former banker who joined Nama in 2010.

August 18, 2016: The Irish News publishes leaked messages between Jamie Bryson, Daithi McKay and Sinn Fein member Thomas O'Hara, claiming that Mr Bryson was coached before appearing as a witness to the Nama inquiry.

Mr McKay resigns a short time later, accepting this was "inappropriate, ill-advised and wrong". The MLA also apologised for his actions.

Belfast Telegraph


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