Last July, serious allegations were made regarding fixer fees and other improprieties worth millions of euro in regard to aspects of the Project Eagle deal, the sale of the NAMA loans in Northern Ireland. Deputy Mick Wallace made serious allegations which the Taoiseach agreed were serious and should be taken seriously. However, there has been deafening silence in terms of our ability to investigate these allegations and other aspects of the concerns around the purchase of the loan book in Northern Ireland. This is a property portfolio valued at approximately €1.6 billion and the integrity of the State is coming into question as allegations are being made on a continual basis. There is no doubt there are huge competing interests in Northern Ireland, both at political level between political parties and between various property developers and others who have expressed interests in the local scene in Northern Ireland.
However, this goes beyond Northern Ireland. NAMA was established by the Houses of the Oireachtas and it is the credibility and integrity of this House that is being brought into disrepute, because we are unable or unwilling to set up some form of investigation or to facilitate NAMA to co-operate with investigations in the North, in Belfast. The idea that we will continue to allow drip-feed allegations to be made and go unanswered or go without investigation is not credible or tenable. It does a disservice to NAMA, which acts as an agent of this State, and undermines that organisation's integrity.
Does the Tánaiste accept that the allegations are serious enough to warrant investigation? Second, should we not facilitate a proper, robust investigation? This would mean allowing NAMA to appear before the inquiry in the North. It has been said previously, and NAMA has said, that it is only answerable to the Houses of the Oireachtas, but that is not good enough. The issue goes beyond this State and is clearly important. Stormont has set up a committee of investigation and the US Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice are also investigating the issue. However, this country is doing nothing other than having the Committee of Public Accounts have a look at the matter.
There is a lot at stake on this. There are competing interests politically and in terms of property developers in Northern Ireland. More importantly, the integrity of NAMA, which was established by this Parliament is being drawn into question. We are obligated to ensure we do everything we can to ensure all allegations are investigated and the truth discovered. We owe that to this Parliament.