“Mr Cushnahan was to share in a three-way split of £15m with US law firm and Ian Coulter…”

Here we go, the little matter of the Tughan’s money just took the Dail committee to ask a few pertinent questions this morning to throw some light on previous the Pimco deal…

A former Nama adviser was in line for a £5m payment after the sale of Nama’s property loan portfolio in Northern Ireland, an Irish parliament (Dáil) committee has been told.

A US investment firm, PIMCO, pulled out of the tender bidding process after discovering the fee arrangement to Nama’s former adviser, Frank Cushnahan. The revelation came during a hearing of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Mr Daly told the committee that the PIMCO bid not go ahead because of the discovery of the involvement of Mr Cushnahan.

He said Mr Cushnahan was to share in a three-way split of £15m with a US law firm and Ian Coulter, who was then a managing partner of Belfast law firm, Tughans.

No politicians named, nor any politician’s sons. Of course, not pleasant, and as I noted in the #SluggerReport yesterday, a case should be made for looking at how public appointments are made and monitored, not least so that any such transactions are seen to be above board.

But, erm, none of this is illegal either. This may or may not prove to be a larger version of the model used in the Cerberus deal…

Now, what’s been happening at NI Sport, where the knives have been out and there’s very definitely fresh bloodstains on carpet?

Update: From RTE News with more detail:

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald told Mr Daly that NAMA had a duty of care in ensure nothing improper occurs in their sales.

She said while she accepted that NAMA could not control third-parties, she did not accept the “end justifies the means” approach.

Mr Daly told Ms McDonald he would love to see the Isle of Man allegations investigated and he said he welcomed the PSNI’s investigation.

He insisted they had explained how they had fire-proofed the sale but Ms McDonald said the sale should have been aborted and alarm bells should have been ringing “like Big Ben”.

Mr Daly said the real test is if we got value for money and “I absolutely believe we did”.

And from Micheal Lehane…

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  • Mick
    It’s important to note that, following the nixing of the PIMCO deal, Nama sought, and received, assurances from Cerberus that no such payments to former advisors were involved in their offer.

  • Sergiogiorgio

    The entry of the NCA into the equation as the investigating agency rather than the “local” PSNI will have some bums squeaking. You can be sure the NCA will want to place a marker down for their first NI investigation.

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    And presumably not their last.

  • Catcher in the Rye

    Mick, surely it is illegal if it is found that any of those appointed were found to have conspired against the Irish state, using information obtained while in the employ of that state, to secure a better deal for their paymasters.

    On sergiogiorgio’s point about the intervention of the NCA – it’s great news.

    We’ve got a problem in NI with policing. Because elements in our political class are so caught up in one form of criminality or another, career-minded senior police officers may think twice about bringing forward a major investigation which could damage their interests. Sinn Féin already flexed their muscles in an attempt to interfere with the appointment of the Chief Constable over the role of one of the candidates in the arrest of Gerry Adams. I am sure other parties would have no qualms over acting similarly if any of their own senior representatives were nobbled.

    Because NI is such as small place and this huge circle jerk between senior politicians, public officials, lawyers and other actors conspires to ensure that nobody rocks the boat, the intervention of national and international agencies who can act beyond the reach of local politics is essential.

  • Sergiogiorgio

    Bingo – makes me think this issue is so toxic even the PSNI ran for cover.