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Timeline of Nama's Northern Ireland property portfolio deal

07 September, 2016 01:00

May 2010: Nama approves appointment of Brian Rowntree and Frank Cushnahan to its Northern Ireland advisory committee on recommendation of finance minister Sammy Wilson.

June 2013: Nama told of investor interest in its northern property portfolio after Republic's finance minister Michael Noonan passes on letter from Mr Wilson. Mr Noonan replies to Mr Wilson that companies should contact Nama and that any sale must be on the open market.

September 2013: US law firm Brown Rudnick makes "unsolicited approach" to Nama and indicates that its client Pimco is interested in acquiring the loans.

November 2013: Frank Cushnahan steps down from advisory committee.

January 2014: Nama receives "letter of intent" from First Minister Peter Robinson's principal private secretary, relating to the proposed management of the northern portfolio.

March 2014: Pimco informs Nama it has discovered fee arrangements involving Brown Rudnick, Belfast law firm Tughans Frank Cushnahan. It withdraws from the sale process.

March 25 2014: Mr Robinson, then finance minister Simon Hamilton and Tughans' Ian Coulter meet Cerberus chairman and former US Vice President Dan Quayle at Stormont Castle. Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness later says he was "gobsmacked" to learn of the meeting.

April 2014: Nama accepts bid from Cerberus to buy portfolio for £1.3bn.

September 2014: First and Deputy first ministers meet Dan Quayle.

January 2015: Ian Coulter leaves role as managing partner of Tughans. No reason is given for his departure.

July 2 2015: Independent TD Mick Wallace names Tughans in Dáil as having acted for Cerberus. He says £7m which ended up in an Isle of Man bank account was "reportedly earmarked for a Northern Ireland politician". Tughans later says professional fees due to the firm were diverted to an account without its knowledge by Mr Coulter.

July 8 2015:: PSNI announces criminal investigation into claims over the Nama Northern Ireland portfolio deal. Stormont's finance committee is also probing the £1.3bn sale.

July 9 2015: Nama's Frank Daly tells TDs that Mr Cushnahan was set to pocket £5m if the Pimco deal went ahead, with a total of £15m to be split with Mr Cushnahan, US law firm Brown Rudnick and Ian Coulter.

September 7 2015: Martin McGuinness denies he was "briefed and engaged" about a failed bid to buy Nama's northern loan book. Also says he was unaware of a proposed memorandum of understanding agreement sent by the first minister's office to Nama ahead of the sale.

September 23 2015: Jamie Bryson claims to Stormont committee that Peter Robinson, Ian Coulter, Frank Cushnahan, accountant David Watters and developer Andrew Creighton were to receive payments following the Nama deal. Mr Robinson strongly rejects the allegation.

May 2016: Frank Cushnahan and former senior Nama executive Ronnie Hanna are arrested by the National Crime Agency investigating the Project Eagle sale. The pair are later released without charge.

August 18 2016: The Irish News reveals that the former chairman of Stormont's finance committee Daithí­ McKay and Sinn Féin worker Thomas O'Hara were in contact with Jamie Bryson via Twitter direct messages in the run-up to the loyalist's September 2015 appearance at the committee.

Read the correspondence

The messages from Mr O'Hara make suggestions about when Mr Bryson should air the allegation that Peter Robinson was set to benefit from the sale of Project Eagle. The messages also mention the possibility of Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir asking questions during Mr Bryson's evidence session.

The revelation leads to calls from Stormont's other parties for Mr Ó Muilleoir to step aside while Stormont's standards commissioner investigates the back channel scandal. The finance minister insists he knows nothing about the messages and receives the backing of the party.

Who is Thomas O'Hara?

August 18 2016: Daithi McKay resigns as North Antrim assembly member and is suspended from the party alongside Thomas O'Hara. 

September 6 2016: Secret recordings broadcast by the BBC Spotlight programme reveal Frank Cushnahan accepted two cash payments of £40,000 and €10,000 from Co Down property developer John Miskelly.

Mr Cushnahan told Mr Miskelly to tell the National Crime Agency (NCA) that he had never been given any payment.

Police announce they have begun an investigation into claims Jamie Bryson was coached ahead of an appearance before the Stormont finance committee.

07 September, 2016 01:00 News

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