Project Eagle: Report into €1.6 billion sale of NAMA loan book to be published today

Agency is expected to strongly challenge review of its biggest ever property deal

enda kenny

Enda Kenny speaking to the media at Government Buildings | File photo:

A report into NAMA's €1.6 billion sale of Northern Irish loan portfolio Project Eagle will be examined by the cabinet today before its publication. 

Opposition parties have called for a probe into the deal after a leaked copy of the review said the agency may have lost hundreds of millions of euro.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny confirmed this morning that the 700-page report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) will be published later today.

He has already indicated his reluctance to establish such an inquiry, saying it could prejudice criminal investigations.

"I think everybody should read the report and obviously the [Public Accounts Committee] is the appropriate body to raise questions that need to be raised with NAMA," Mr Kenny told reporters.

The Fine Gael leader said he plans to meet with opposition leaders early next week to discuss a possible commission of investigation.

Asked about the possibility of a cross-border probe, he said: "We’ve already pointed the difficulties that exist with two jurisdictions.

"You would have papers, evidence and witnesses who would not be compelled to be able to attend two sovereign jurisdictions.

"They’re all matters to be considered for the future."

The soon-to-be-published report is expected to be strongly challenged by NAMA.

The agency came under scrutiny last year after it emerged that businessman Frank Cushnahan met with US investment firm Pimco, an unsuccessful bidder for Project Eagle, months before resigning from its Northern Ireland advisory committee.

NAMA said it later discovered that Pimco had agreed to pay Mr Cushnahan £5 million if its bid was accepted.

The portfolio was eventually sold to the US-based Cerberus fund in 2014.

In a recording broadcast by the BBC Spotlight programme, Mr Cushnahan claimed he was due to receive money for that deal. He has always denied that was set to receive payment.