The biggest NAMA story of the week was the revelation in the High Court that Mary McCabe, wife of high profile NAMA developer John McCabe, owned an 8-carat diamond ring and that NAMA had successfully sought the appointment of receivers to it. The story attracted a spectrum of reaction from outrage at the humiliation of a woman in open court to outrage at the notion that an asset worth at least €140,000 should not be used to help pay down a €20m personal judgment against Mary McCabe in favour of NAMA and ultimately the taxpayer.
But apart from the rights and wrongs and ethics, another angle is emerging in the story.
The Irish Times reported on Thursday evening “she had failed to disclose the jewellery in her first statement of affairs but did so in her second.”
The Sunday Independent reports today “private correspondence sent by the daughter of well-known developer John McCabe using the family’s company email account alerted Nama to the existence of his wife Mary’s €150,000, 8.38-carat diamond ring” – the Sindo report is remarkable in not providing a single bit of additional detail on the “private correspondence sent by the daughter”, and how exactly NAMA was “alerted”
Last June 2012, we learned that NAMA was considering referring one developer to the Gardai for making a false declaration of assets. This was before NAMA went to the High Court and secured nearly €300m in total judgments against various members of the McCabe family, including a €20m judgment against Mary McCabe. There is no evidence of any connection between the McCabe family and the NAMA Garda investigation.
So, have we heard the end of the yarn about the 8-carat ring, a yarn which bears the hallmarks of a Georgian melodrama about a lost or stolen five shilling note? Who knows, but what we do know is that it is a criminal offence to knowingly make a false statement to NAMA and although we don’t know the circumstances in Mary McCabe’s own case with her jewelry, we do have reports of there being two statements from Mary McCabe, and of NAMA being alerted to the existence of the jewelry from a family email.