A senior portfolio manager at NAMA has told the High Court in London that former hotel tycoon Derek Quinlan continued to live a lavish lifestyle despite being one of NAMA's highest profile debtors.
Paul Hennigan was giving evidence on behalf of NAMA in a case brought by developer Paddy McKillen against David and Frederick Barclay for control of three London hotels.
Mr Hennigan said that Mr Quinlan did not have enough assets to meet his debts.
He agreed that a payment to Mr Quinlan of £500,000 from the Barclays may have contributed to Mr Quinlan's support for the Barclays' efforts to take control of the hotels.
Mr Hennigan said that delivering Coroin, the company which controls Claridges, the Connaught and the Berkley hotel to the Barclay brothers had been the mechanism to protect Mr Quinlan and his family's lavish lifestyle.
NAMA subsequently transferred almost €800m of debts in the hotels to the Barclay brothers.
Mr Hennigan said NAMA had heard rumours that Mr Quinlan had been seeking side payments for the sale of some of his assets and that this would have been unacceptable.
He said that NAMA regarded Mr Quinlan as seeking to promote his own interests before those of his creditors.
Mr Hennigan added that Mr Quinlan had moved to Switzerland, but had relocated to the UK by December 2010.
A NAMA document dated last January and read out in court asked Mr Quinlan to explain the purchase of a new Range Rover.
Mr Hennigan said that it was NAMA's view that it was unacceptable that Mr Quinlan's expenditure should be subsidised by the Irish taxpayer.
In evidence, Mr Hennigan said it was incredible that Coroin did not have any loan facilities and that the shareholders were allowing it to go into insolvency because they could not agree their own position.
Mr Hennigan said when the deadline for refinancing Coroin had passed after 28 February 2011, NAMA took the position that they were dealing with what he described as a dysfunctional group of shareholders.
Mr Hennigan said he was instructed to sell equity in the company to Malaysian investors.
In cross-examination, counsel for Mr McKillen suggested to Mr Hennigan that NAMA had made it very difficult for Coroin to get refinancing and that was what led the Barclay brothers to take control of the hotels.
Mr Hennigan replied that he did not care who took over control of Coroin, he was just concerned about Coroin refinancing and repaying its debt.
Later in evidence, NAMA's head of asset management John Mulcahy was asked about NAMA's decision to sell almost €800m worth of debt in the hotels to the Barclay brothers.
Mr Mulcahy replied: “Our focus is to get our money back, we had no separate agenda. Paddy McKillen's view that we were bad for him and bad for the company was wrong.
"Coroin shareholders were squabbling amongst themselves and it was preventing them getting refinance. All I wanted was a united shareholder body.
“It was of no interest to me whether Paddy was in control or the Barclays were in control, as long as they had a united front."
He was also asked about NAMA's consultation with Mr McKillen before the sale of the debt to the Barclay brothers.
Mr Mulcahy said: "We need to get our money back and we are prepared to do it in any way that is presented to us. We were getting our debt paid from a source that had funds."
The case continues next week when Mr Quinlan is expected to give evidence.