Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

McNulty demands full inquiry into NAMA saga

SDLP Assembly Member for Newry and Armagh Justin McNulty MLA has claimed that a culture of malpractice and corruption is at the heart of the Nama’s Cerberus deal and that a full enquiry into the entire saga must now be carried out.

Speaking after it emerged that Sinn Fein MLA Daithí McKay and his party colleague Thomas O’Hara were working closely with prominent loyalist flag protestor Jamie Bryson in advance of a Stormont Enquiry in which Mr Bryson was providing evidence,   Mr McNulty said,

“Since July last year, when Deputy Mick Wallace TD made his explosive claims in Dáil Éireann about dodgy dealings in relation to Nama’s Cerberus deal, we have witnessed a drip feed of claims and counterclaims.

“It has become clear that malpractice and corruption is at the very heart of these Nama dealings and the public are no longer surprised as each new revelation is made.  However this week’s revelations add a new sorry twist to the story.  We now learn that an MLA, who was Chairman of the enquiry into the Nama Project Eagle saga was actually coaching one of the main witnesses seeking to cause the maximum damage.”

The SDLP representative described the debacle as “an appalling abuse of the political system” which “questions the very integrity of all those involved and only erodes public confidence in our political systems and politicians.”

“This is corruption of the highest order and must be rooted out,” he added.

“There are very serious questions which need to be answered and the SDLP will pursue the truth with rigour on the floor of the Assembly and through the Finance Committee.   Snap resignations or assurances by senior Ministers are not enough, we need to see full openness and transparency into the entire dealings.’

Mr McNulty revealed that SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MLA has set out a list of questions  to be answered by the Deputy First Minister and his party colleagues in relation to the latest twist in this saga.

“No political party should be allowed to cover up for the corrupt actions of colleagues, no matter what their involvement was at any stage throughout this process,” he said.

“The SDLP will ensure that the effort to uncover the truth around NAMA is not derailed by this latest tiff between Sinn Fein and the DUP who have willingly endangered the integrity of this investigation through their contempt for democracy and accountability.”