A motion calling for a Commission of Investigation to be established into the sale of NAMA's Northern Ireland property portfolio has been defeated in the Dáil by 81 votes to 51.

The motion was proposed by Independent4Change TD Mick Wallace, who said all the other countries involved in the sale had begun investigations into it.

Tabling the motion yesterday Mr Wallace told the Dáil that the eventual buyer, Cerberus Capital Management, would double its money on the purchase, which he said would mean it got Project Eagle for half what it is worth.

He asked: "How are we not investigating that?"

Mr Wallace said the Public Accounts Committee's review of whether the State got value for money on the sale would not address the governance concerns.

However, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan defended NAMA's handling of the sale and said the agency had proven to be one of the great successes of Ireland’s economic recovery.

In 2014 US Investment company, Cerberus Capital Management, bought the NAMA portfolio of Northern Ireland-based debtors.

It had a book value of £4.5bn. The purchase price was not disclosed but NAMA said at the time it was the biggest single transaction in the agency's history.

Fianna Fáil's finance spokesperson Michael McGrath said a commission of investigation was merited, but it would run into the sand while criminal investigations were under way.