Belfast Telegraph

Nama boss still awaits Cushnahan response

By Colm Kelpie

The Nama row and the involvement of politicians in the sale of its Northern Ireland loans portfolio continues to rumble on. Chairman Frank Daly was quizzed by Irish politicians yesterday on the sale of the loans to a US investment firm.

Mr Daly was questioned on the sale of Project Eagle, and said he had written to former Nama adviser in Northern Ireland Frank Cushnahan a month ago, but had not yet received a response.

He said he wrote to him again on Monday asking that he respond "as soon as possible".

Mr Daly said he wrote to Mr Cushnahan on foot of a disclosure that the latter helped organise a confidential meeting between former First Minister Peter Robinson and US investment firm Pimco while Mr Cushnahan was still an adviser to Nama.

That disclosure was made by Mr Robinson at the Stormont inquiry into the sale of Nama's Northern Ireland loans portfolio.

The inquiry has been probing allegations, denied by the DUP leader, that he was in line to receive a payment in connection with the Project Eagle deal.

"I asked him (Mr Cushnahan) to come back to me on whether that was correct and whether he had any views on anything he wanted to tell me about that," Mr Daly told the Oireachtas Finance Committee yesterday.

"I also asked him to clarify if any other relevant meetings had taken place.

"I also asked him about why he had not declared, or deemed it appropriate to declare, those interests to Nama.

"I haven't had a reply from Mr Cushnahan to that," Mr Daly stated.

Mr Daly said he would be concerned if such a meeting had taken place.

The Project Eagle portfolio, made up of loans linked to 900 properties, was sold for €1.6bn to vulture fund Cerberus in April 2014.

Meanwhile, Nama said it had generated cash receipts of €8.8 billion so far this year.

This brings the total cash generated since inception to €32.4 billion.

Mr Daly said the agency is expected to generate a surplus of about €2 billion by the time it completes its work.

Belfast Telegraph


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