Docklands transfer to NAMA cost taxpayer €50m, committee told

Thursday 06 February 2014 15.39
The docklands accounts were scrutinised at the Public Accounts Committee
The docklands accounts were scrutinised at the Public Accounts Committee

The Public Accounts Committee has heard that the loss to the taxpayer after the transfer of assets and lands in the North Lotts area from the Docklands authority to NAMA was approximately €50 million.

The committee heard that three sites were acquired for €59 million by the authority and were subsequently transferred to NAMA for €8 million. 

Acting CEO of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority Eileen Quinlivan and Financial Advisor John Crawley were before the PAC to discuss its accounts for 2012.

Vice chair of the committee Fine Gael Deputy Kieran O'Donnell said looking at the projects together - the CHQ, the development sites in the North Lotts; and the Glass Bottle site -  the loss to the taxpayer was €185 million and this was an absolute disgrace. 

Deputy O'Donnell said the State's exposure on the Glass Bottle site went from €9 million to €61 million in the space of 12 days.

He added that there appeared to be no due diligence or valuations and it had all the impressions of a vanity project for the management of the directors of the DDDA.

He asked if the people dealing with it would have spent their own money that way.

He also asked Mr John Crawley and Ms Quinlivan if they could go back and look to see what happened.

Earlier the Comptroller and Auditor General told the committee that the records of the Glass Bottle site transaction were ambiguous. He said he was sure there were lessons to be learned and the committee should include this in its report.

Following a special report by the C&AG in February 2012, the Government took the decision to wind down the authority and transfer the powers and functions to Dublin City Council.

The Glass Bottle site was part of a €412 million deal entered into by the DDDA in 2006, which ultimately cost the authority €52 million.