Bryson and McKay in the dock over Nama corruption allegations made to the Assembly

Photo Mal McCann No comment is necessary or indeed permitted apart from this from Allison Morris, the Irish News reporter with the exclusive.. The PPS warns: As court proceedings will shortly commence, the PPS would ask that there is no reporting, commentary or sharing of information on-line which would in any way prejudice these proceedings”. “A trial directly related to politics couldn’t have came at a worse time for both the DUP and Sinn Féin. In a place where one …

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“by the manipulation of the committee in order that Jamie Bryson’s evidence be received in open session.”

The BBC reports that former Sinn Féin MLA, Daithí McKay [now a Slugger contributor… – Ed],  is being sued for damages by Belfast property developer, Paddy Kearney.  According to the report the writ lodged at Belfast High Court alleges Mr McKay “unlawfully conspired” with Loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson to damage Mr Kearney’s reputation. From the BBC report The writ claims Mr McKay, with others, conspired to damage Mr Kearney “by the manipulation of the committee in order that Jamie Bryson’s evidence be received …

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Nama and how the cause of impoverished developers became a national cause celebre

It’s hard to remember, but for all the high controversy around Nama, there is still no direct evidence of law breaking having taken place. Much of the material in Mick Wallace’s contribution to the Dail (he has an OpEd in today’s IT) has proven at best incomplete, at worst misleading. What appears to be driving the story is the anger of a number of developers (some of whom, like Mick, have conflicting interests) who feel their properties were undervalued by …

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“Perhaps it’s time to rethink toughness or at least detach it from hardness…”

Alex Kane talks about the role of Omerta in Sinn Fein’s success. It’s a pejorative description (in common usage) which ties the party to the Tony Soprano end of  politics. So, the reasoning goes, there is no hope of clarity on the McKay-Bryson affair because everyone will stand to and keep quiet. But there’s another side to success in politics, and that’s an anchor in a shared common purpose. It applies to most successful political parties, Sinn Fein and the DUP …

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Local unhappiness at party’s treatment of McKay leads to 18 resignations…

Worth noting that this morning some in Sinn Fein in North Antrim were unhappy enough with the way Daithi McKay has been treated by his party that they resigned. The BBC report references a statement given to the Ballymena Guardian… Those who have resigned told the Ballymena Guardian it was “inconceivable” that they could remain in light of the way they believe Mr McKay was treated. They also criticised what they called the “anointing” of his successor without, they claim, …

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How Sinn Fein only undermined themselves by turning on their own partners in Government…

In case you missed it, here’s my analysis of the debacle up to and following the resignation of Daithi McKay written for and published by the Irish Independent on Saturday. The nine-year government coalition between Sinn Féin and the DUP has been an odd and largely unproductive affair. In spite of the popular Chuckle Brothers routine between Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness, the positive fruits of that partnership have always been more apparent than evident. And under the skin, relations have often …

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“What was the basis of that belief? Where was that belief grounded?”

Máirtín says he had no knowledge of Daithi McKay’s backchannel with Jamie Bryson until it was published last week, even though the inquiry (which was supposed to be investigating Nama) has, as yet, turned out to be little more than a power play against the then First Minister, Peter Robinson. No political party worth the name mounts such a play without a substantial discussion about the hows, whys and wherefores of such a move. Odd that Sinn Fein would leave Máirtín out of …

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Following through on McKay’s misconduct of Stormont’s Nama Inquiry is a test for the Opposition…

So let me add some rather more sceptical thoughts to Brian’s view that the sacking of Daithi McKay is in itself a positive. For a start, the speed with which Sinn Fein investigated, and then had North Antrim MLA self-dispatch contrasts with the lack of one when more senior careers were on the line. I won’t detain readers with the plethora of conspiracy theories emerging around who leaked the material or indeed why, but Sinn Fein moved uncharacteristically quickly to punish one of …

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The fast sacking of Daithi McKay shows that Sinn Fein is maturing into government

There are I suppose two basic questions outstanding  about the unholy alliance between the disgraced and now former Sinn Fein MLA and Finance committee chair  Daithi McKay and the loyalist rascal Jamie Bryson. Who  originally floated the  Nama allegations which it’s suggested were accessed from an iCloud account and were not made up by Sinn Fein? Or is this a purely a pathetic piece of evasion to lessen the impact and spread the load of guilt? Secondly, was McKay acting alone with …

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Who helped write Jamie Bryson’s Stormont Inquiry script? Er, the Sinn Féin chair.

This is funny. Remember that ‘controversial’ Stormont investigation into Nama from a year ago? That’s where Jamie Bryson made a reference to Person A, then revealing at the end it was none other than Peter Robinson… It was great melodrama, but who wrote the script? Allison Morris reveals this morning that it was none other than a party constituency worker for the Chair of the Committee at the time, Daithi McKay. Mr O’Hara messages Bryson saying: “A wee suggestion for your …

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News of investment in NI may be good enough to be true

Wow! 36 deals worth £392 million secured in the first quarter of 2016 I admit I don’t really understand what the figures mean and how much accrues to people who live and work in northern Ireland. Still, it seems like good news for the professional classes in high tech. In the first quarter of 2015, there were 42 deals valued at £205.7 million (€256.6m): this year, in the same period, just 36 deals were concluded but at a combined worth …

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Spotlight NAMA investigation finds Cushnahan playing both ends off the middle…

Mandy McAuley’s Spotlight documentary on Monday is well worth watching in full. It does an excellent job of decyphering some of the Chinese whispers that have been running since independent TD Mick Wallace set a number of hares running last July. But for me this is the absolutely critical passage in the documentary… Most of the critical evidence appears to relate to the failed sale of the portfolio to PIMCO. The sale failed when NAMA learned that its advisor Frank …

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“My colleague Mr Girvan described this entire mess as a “dirty scheme”: do you agree with that?”

It may be that Mairtin has had second thoughts, possibly after reading Slugger… “Attempts to score cheap political points totally miss the real purpose of the inquiry which is to investigate allegations of corruption and possible conflicts of interest. “Instead of trying to use the inquiry as an opportunity for party political grandstanding, all members should be working together to get to the truth of this major public interest issue.” Quite. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has …

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What exactly is going on with this ‘draft’ letter to Tughans?

In Dublin Frank Daly of Nama told his critics to put up or shut up after the PAC in Dublin failed to land a single blow on him over Project Eagle. Meanwhile away from the northern antics of the Finance and Personnel Committee, Julian O’Neill unearths something very odd… The sale of the Northern Ireland Nama loan book was claimed to be the idea of a Belfast accountant who has said he was due the £7.5m success fee. The BBC …

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Cartoon – ‘Dodgy emissions…’

The Stormont Committee for Finance and Personnel yesterday voted for Approach One, they would hear in public evidence from the lone loyalist blogger. Most of the pexceedings were taken up with the oral presentation, but Máirtín Ó Muilleoir asked an important question towards the end: who are the sources behind the detailed information? Adding that he would like to bring them before the Committee. Brian SpencerBrian is a writer, artist, political cartoonist and legal blogger. Actively tweeting from @brianjohnspencr. More information …

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“No politician, nor any relative of any politician in Northern Ireland, was ever to receive any monies in any way”

So after the utter feverishness of last week, which finished with a flat denial by the First Minister, Ian Coulter speaks pretty plainly about the Project Eagle deal… The concept of a Northern Ireland NAMA deal was developed and significant work leading up to this deal was done by other business people in Northern Ireland, before any involvement of Cerberus (or any bidder).  None of these other parties were from Tughans and none were politicians or relatives of politicians. Through …

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“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 …

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NAMA claims media coverage of Project Eagle is seriously in error…

Here’s a statement from them this morning…   Now that does not mean there is not a problem with the purchase arrangements. But this account tallies with several audit office reports done on these transactions on both sides of the border which passed Project Eagle with a clean bill of health. The PSNI are investing the purchasers, not the sellers (which may be a further reason why Deputy Wallace is unwilling to justify his original privileged remarks in front of any Oireachtas …

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