Fianna Fáil Finance spokesperson Michael McGrath has stated that Michael Noonan needs to urgently explain why he did not taken action to halt the sale of NAMA’s Northern Ireland loan book when it was disclosed to the agency in March 2014 that PIMCO’s proposed fee arrangement with the Brown Rudnick international law firm included also the payment of fees to Tughans, a Belfast law firm, and to a former external member of NAMA NI Advisory Committee.

Deputy McGrath commented, “This is a matter of huge public importance. The asset portfolio in question was owned by the State and was so valuable that no questions should be allowed to hang over its disposal. There is a clear allegation that the sale process was fatally compromised.

“Any suggestion that the taxpayer did not receive the return it deserved must be thoroughly investigated, as should any allegations of improper conduct in relation to the sale.

“The Northern Assembly Finance Committee makes the very reasonable point that by Michael Noonan could have exercised his general powers of direction over NAMA to suspend the sales process until matters were investigated fully investigated. I am calling on the Minister to respond to this matter urgently.

“I am also repeating my call for a Commission of Inquiry in this jurisdiction into NAMA’s disposal of its Project Eagle portfolio of assets associated with Northern Irish debtors.

“If no Commission of Inquiry takes place here, only the Northern aspects of the allegations will be investigated, as the jurisdiction of the Northern investigations ends at the border. This is not acceptable as the key decisions were made by NAMA in Dublin,” concluded Deputy McGrath.