Friday 21 October 2016

Gardai to probe Wallace's claims of Nama bribery


TD Mick Wallace will help garda investigations into his claim that a Nama official sought and received a €15,000 bribe.

The National Assets Management Agency (Nama) has written to Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan requesting that the latest allegation by the Independent TD be investigated "as a matter of urgency".

Mr Wallace told the Dail yesterday that a portfolio manager twice asked a construction firm for €15,000 "in a bag in cash" in return for being allowed to exit Nama. "They duly obliged and all was sorted," Mr Wallace said.

The claim is one of a number of fresh allegations made by Mr Wallace.

The Wexford TD has previously made allegations relating to £7m found in the Isle of Man bank account of Belfast solicitor Ian Coulter.


That claim has sparked inquiries by the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Northern Assembly's finance committee.

In a letter to the commissioner, Nama chief executive Brendan McDonagh said Mr Wallace had a duty under Section 19 of the Criminal Justice Act to report any evidence of criminal wrongdoing to gardai.

"As matters stand, the allegation, if not investigated as a matter of urgency, casts a shadow over all Nama officers," wrote Mr McDonagh.

Within hours of receiving the letter, gardai announced the claim would be investigated by officers from the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation, led by Det Chief Supt Patrick Lordan.

Today, Mr Wallace said he would be prepared to talk to gardai on the matter.

"I've no problem talking to them about this," he said, adding he could name the construction company involved.

Asked why he went to the Dail first instead of the gardai, Wallace said he had serious reservations about the workings of Nama.


"I want the government to initiate an independent commission of investigation, and the Dail is my best vehicle for trying to push for that," he said.

The TD also asked Taoiseach Enda Kenny whether he knew how many barristers, judges, solicitors, top-four accountancy firm partners and bankers were in syndicates linked to Nama.

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