Aontú Leader and Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has stated “Nama is a tale of two investigations”.
He said “In the North of Ireland two individuals have now been charged for their alleged involvement in the fraudulent sale of NAMA’s Northern loan book. Frank Cushnahan and Ian Coulter both now face charges for the alleged fraud concerning the the sale of NAMA’s portfolio of North of Ireland loans to US fund Cerberus for £1.3 billion 6 years ago. Its reported that Tughan’s, the Belfast law firm that acted as advisors to Cerberus were paid €21,000 by NAMA in fees in 2017. Its also reported that Tughan’s Managing Director Ian Coulter resigned when it emerged that he had transferred £6 million into an Isle of Man bank account without the firm’s knowledge”.
“Meanwhile in the south the investigation continues to meander, over time and over budget. The Commission of Investigation into Nama was established by Government Order on 13 June 2017.
It was originally due to deliver its findings in June 2018. In response to a Dáil question posed by myself the Taoiseach admitted that the Investigation has secured extension after extension and is now expected to report on its initial phase of its investigation at the end of September 2020. The NAMA Commission has spent a total of €2,592,934. The total cost was expected to reach €10m but given the over runs this figure may well be in doubt”.
“Taxpayer funds are limited, and must be spent with the utmost conscientiousness for the burden taxes place on working families. The fact that an Taoiseach refuses to reign in either the drawn out duration of tribunals and commissions, or curtail their spiralling costs on the grounds of ‘safeguarding independence’ exhibits minimal regard for taxpayers’ monies. Furthermore, despite the taxpayer underwriting the cost of the commission for three years there is nothing to show for it. The cost, and culture of tribunals in this country is one that cost taxpayers millions – to little public benefit.”