Archive for July 2nd, 2010

The Passion of Willie O’Dea

Former Minister of State for Defence, Willie O’Dea, has a dilemma. According to the Limerick Post, down his neck of the woods, one of developer Liam Carroll’s companies has left a building site in an awful way, a health hazard which attracts children to play on dangerous structures and is attracting thieves in the night to take away scrap metal. The development is Parkway Valley owned by Carroll vehicle, Elocin Limited but whose loan is now apparently with NAMA. Willie wants to contact the Department of Finance to ask them to secure the site but he’s frightened he will be in breach of NAMA lobbying rules if he does just that.

Now the turmoil within Willie is revealed in his statement that “Surely I can make representations from a public safety point of view because the site is now owned by the taxpayers” though Willie hasn’t apparently yet sent his letter asking for NAMA to secure the site. The article goes on to say “Anxious to find out how he can make representations to NAMA about the site, Mr O’Dea believes that he will be the first TD in the country to do so.”

Whilst not pretending to give Willie legal advice – after all he is a barrister and was in post whilst the NAMA project made its way through the Oireachtas where he was still a minister, the NAMA Act says:

221 (3) It is not an offence pursuant to subsection (1) if the communication
(a) is made public at the time of the communication,
(b) is made without an intention to benefit, or confer an
advantage on, any specific person, or
(c) is made in the public interest.

So perhaps if Willie makes the communication public and as long as the contact is in the public interest, then he might be alright.

Reference is made to a “directive” sent to all “members of the Oireachtas” apparently banning such contact. The search for a copy of this “directive” continues, though what legal validity it would have is unclear.

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NAMA Business Plan leaks continue in Emmet Oliver’s article in today’s Independent, where “political sources” (ie not NAMA) have apparently confirmed that NAMA’s projected Net Present Value has dropped from €4.8bn in the draft Business Plan but still shows some “profit”.

Apparently NAMA delivered a “fresh” (ie another) Business Plan yesterday to the Department of Finance which begs the question is the DoF amending or turning down previous versions?

Emmet Oliver also claims that NAMA property is already being sold in Dublin. This might be slightly misleading and may mean that property belonging to NAMA borrowers (also variously known as the developers, project faciltators or debtors) might be sold by those same borrowers if in accordance with a loan agreement or with NAMA’s approval.

When the Business Plan is published – expect plenty of leaks before then based on present form – next week according to Emmet Oliver’s predictions (was the approach at the DoF that Simon Carswell at the Irish Times got the inside track on tranche 1 and Emmet is to gifted leaks on the Business Plan?), full coverage will be carried here, see a preview here.

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