Alan Dukes: PAC should have a role in Project Eagle investigation

A statutory inquiry is to be established to look into NAMA's sale of its Northern Irish loan book

Alan Dukes: PAC should have a role in Project Eagle investigation

Former Fine Gael leader Alan Dukes | Photocall file photo

Former chairman of IBRC Alan Dukes thinks the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) should have a role in the investigation into NAMA and the sale of its Northern Irish loan book.

It comes as former NAMA advisor Frank Cushnahan says he has "not made one penny" from the Project Eagle sale.

In a statement to the Sunday Independent, he has denied any wrongdoing in relation to the €1.6 billion euro sell-off of the loan book.

A BBC Spotlight programme aired secret recordings earlier this month that allegedly show Mr Cushnahan receiving £40,000 from a NAMA borrower in 2012.

It was confirmed earlier this week that a statutory inquiry is to be established to look into Project Eagle, with opposition TDs calling for the inquiry to also examine wider issues at NAMA.

The move followed a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General that claims the taxpayer lost as much as €220 million on the Project Eagle sale - something NAMA denies.

Speaking on The Sunday Show this morning, former Fine Gael leader Dukes argued: "I think that the PAC here has a very clear interest in this.

"I think it would be very useful if there were a public confrontation or discussion between NAMA and the Comptroller and Auditor General in the presence of the PAC. They could both be asked specific questions, and they could respond to each other.

"There are issues in here between the two that seem to require a lot of digging," he added.

He also emphasised that PAC restrictions related to "commercial sensitivity" only arise when speaking about specific transactions - but this transaction is "already out in the public domain".