The chairwoman of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority has told an Oireachtas committee the organisation has written down the value of some of its property by millions of euro and that the body will be in deficit to the tune of nearly €250m next year.

The huge losses come after the Authority ,whose board included by directors of Anglo Irish Bank, engaged in massive property speculation. The losses will now have to be picked up by the taxpayer.

Chairwoman Niamh Brennan told a meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on Environment, Heritage and Local Government that with time, effort, commitment and focus the business of the DDDA will be brought back on track.

She said, though, that this would not happen overnight, and there was no magic wand for the DDDA.

Ms Brennan said no final decision had yet been made on planning regarding the new headquarters of Anglo Irish Bank. She also said the DDDA has new pension liabilities of €6.5m, which she said is less of a deficit than last year, when it amounted to €7.3m.

She said the dynamics of the board had changed and was different to how it was in the past. Ms Brennan said that, while there are some conflicts of interest, they are not systematic and do not result in financial rewards to board members.

The meeting was called following the publication last week of the DDDA's annual report and accounts which revealed that the Authority ran an operating deficit of €27m in 2008 as opposed to a €3m surplus in 2007.