A former official with the National Asset Management Agency has been given a two-year suspended prison sentence for disclosing confidential information. 

Enda Farrell, with an address in Brussels, Belgium and formerly of Dunboyne, Co Meath, had pleaded guilty to disclosing information confidential to NAMA by email between May and July 2012.

The information related to NAMA valuations of hundreds of properties. 

Sentencing him today, Judge Karen O'Connor said had Farrell materially benefitted or NAMA been compromised she would have imposed a custodial sentence.

But, she said, the mitigating factors were compelling and she would wholly suspend his prison sentence of two years.

Judge O'Connor said the 40-year-old was of previously good character, voluntarily attended garda interviews and offered a high degree of co-operation.

She said he had left Ireland to live in Brussels financially destitute due to costs arising from civil proceedings taken by NAMA.

Judge O'Connor said had he not voluntarily returned to Ireland for these proceedings it would have been difficult to extradite him.

She said his early indication of a guilty plea meant a lengthy, costly and technical trial was avoided.

She said there were a number of aggravating factors to take into account, including his significant breach of trust and the fact that the information was potentially of commercial benefit.

Judge O'Connor said while the court accepts he was under significant stress and strain while working in NAMA this does not take from the breach of trust and gravity of the offence.

She said he has suffered loss of reputation both professionally and personally and has had a very public fall from grace.

She said he has been guilty of wrongdoing and has suffered as a result and will continue to suffer.

Farrell had worked for NAMA since its inception.

In 2012, before he left to work for a UK property company, he emailed confidential information to a third-party to bypass the agency's email security.

After he left he emailed the information on to two investment companies, QED Equity and Canaccord Genuity.

The confidential information contained NAMA's November 2009 valuations of hundreds of properties.  

They included a portfolio in Germany, hundreds of Irish hotels, as well as property connected to developers including Paddy McKillen and the O'Flynn group and dozens of properties connected to loans from Anglo Irish Bank.

The court heard it was not part of the prosecution case that Farrell had benefitted financially from what he had done.

And although the information was potentially commercially sensitive, the court heard it was not part of the case that any transaction was compromised by the disclosures.