Europe

Nama: Enda Kenny 'not opposed' to Irish inquiry

National Asset Management Agency logo
Image caption The National Assets Management Agency( Nama) is the Republuc of Ireland's "bad Bank"

Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Enda Kenny has said he is not opposed to an inquiry into the sale of Nama's Northern Ireland property loans.

In an interview with Irish radio station KFM, Mr Kenny described the allegations made last week on BBC Spotlight as incredible.

Nama is the Irish state agency set up take control of bad loans north and south that were damaging the banks.

In 2014, it sold its portfolio in Northern Ireland for millions.

Mr Kenny's comments come as speculation grows that the Republic's government could announce an inquiry into the controversial deal.

Image copyright BBC Newsline
Image caption Frank Cushnahan, a former Nama adviser, was recorded accepted a cash payment from a Nama client

The Republic of Ireland's spending watchdog, the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG), is set to publish a report this week that reportedly concludes that the deal had "irregularities" and "shortcomings".

Last week, BBC Spotlight broadcast a recording in which Frank Cushnahan, a former member of Nama's Northern Ireland advisory committee, accepted a £40,000 cash payment from a Nama client.

The payment was made by County Down property developer John Miskelly during a meeting in a hospital car park.

Mr Cushanhan was still working as an adviser to Nama at the time.

He has denied any wrongdoing. Mr Miskelly has said "payments made by me to any persons have been lawful".

Mr Kenny told KFM that he had watched the BBC Spotlight programme.

"Nothing surprises me at the kind of activities that take place in politics," he said. "In that sense, I find it extraordinary to hear the audio reports of engagements and meetings between certain personnel," he added.

"If I find, or our colleagues in government find, that this is a case that has to be examined - then I won't be opposed to that.

"If there are questions arising from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) engagement with Nama, and they are due before them shortly, I'm not averse to taking action, but I need to know what it is I'm taking action on."

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has joined calls from opposition politicians for an inquiry.

More on this story