NAMA reports second former employee to gardaí

Tuesday 17 December 2013 21.43
Taoiseach Enda Kenny said a firm of solicitors had made a complaint to gardaí about NAMA
Taoiseach Enda Kenny said a firm of solicitors had made a complaint to gardaí about NAMA

A spokesman for the National Asset Management Agency has confirmed it has reported a second former employee to gardaí for allegedly sharing information unlawfully.

The agency's spokesman pointed out that NAMA has a total of 350 employees.

Earlier, the Taoiseach told the Dáil that a firm of solicitors, acting on behalf of a client, had made a complaint to gardaí about NAMA allegedly disclosing information.

The complaint was made last August.

Enda Kenny said gardaí are awaiting documentation from the solicitors and they would fully investigate any allegations of criminal activity.

Mr Kenny said the issue was separate to an investigation into a former NAMA employee.

A garda spokesperson said that investigation is at an advanced stage and it would not be prudent to comment further.

NAMA said that anyone with evidence of any impropriety is legally obliged to inform gardaí.

In the Seanad, Senator Lorraine Higgins said that she raised issues regarding NAMA in the house last May and June.

She said she had raised the need for NAMA to review its contracts of employment so that the valuable information gleaned by NAMA employees could not be utilised immediately after ceasing employment with the agency.

Yesterday, Fianna Fáil Senator Darragh O'Brien said he was in receipt of information that, in his view, would rock the foundations of NAMA.

The agency called on him to give gardaí any evidence he may have of impropriety by the agency's staff.

Senator Higgins said she had referred to a particular individual who left NAMA and who immediately took up employment with another property company in the UK of which he is now a partner.

Speaking in the Seanad, she said she had outlined that the situation had significantly undermined NAMA's ability to recover the optimum amount for its assets and the return for the Irish taxpayer.

Senator Higgins said the information relates to the valuations on the property and the amount that NAMA might accept for any one or other of those properties.

She said the individual who she is speaking about is the same person who tried to silence her before.

On that occasion, she said, he rang her office and left a message on the answering machine threatening her with legal action if she mentioned him in a submission to the Seanad again on this subject.

Ms Higgins said she wonders what he now fears in the light of what came out yesterday.

Seanad Cathaoirleach Paddy Burke warned Ms Higgins against naming people on the record of the house.

She said she is fearful the State could be left open to legal action, which could amount to millions of euro potentially.

Ms Higgins said there is now an application in the High Court for an injunction relating to the alleged passing of information.

She said the Minister for Finance needs to come before the Seanad.

Keywords: nama, seanad