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Jamie Bryson invited to attend Dáil Nama probe

Loyalist flag protester and blogger Jamie Bryson
Brendan Hughes

JAMIE Bryson last night said he has been invited to give evidence in Dublin at a Dáil probe into the Nama scandal.

The loyalist flag protester turned blogger said he would be happy to meet with the public accounts committee next week.

TDs expressed an interest in speaking to Mr Bryson following sensational claims on Wednesday at a Stormont finance committee inquiry into the Nama northern portfolio controversy.

He alleged that DUP leader Peter Robinson was among five people set to share in a "success fee" linked to the £1.3bn property loans deal.

Mr Robinson, who has temporarily stood aside as first minister amid a political row over the murder of ex-IRA man Kevin McGuigan, fiercely denied the allegations as "scurrillous and unfounded".

Last night Mr Bryson released to The Irish News an email that appears to have been sent to him by public accounts committee (PAC) chair John McGuinness.

It reads: "The PAC is meeting with Nama next Thursday in the Dáil. In light of what you had to say at the NI finance committee hearing I wonder is there evidence you can offer to PAC on aspects of Project Eagle that would be of interest to our committee hearing. Would you like to meet with the committee?"

Mr Bryson said he would be "ready and willing" to appear before the Dáil committee's Nama investigation.

He claimed that attending could also enable him to speak more freely than during his Stormont appearance.

"There would not be the constraints on the terms of reference," he said.

Parliamentary inquiries on both sides of the border and a criminal investigation were launched over the Nama deal after shock claims by independent TD Mick Wallace.

In the Dáil in July he claimed £7m linked to the sale and placed in an Isle of Man bank account was "reportedly earmarked for a Northern Ireland politician or political party".

Independent TD Shane Ross, a member of the public accounts committee, has said he and other members would like Mr Bryson to attend.

"He's a very controversial witness and he would be there under privilege if that was the case. I think there are some members, in fact I talked to some today, who would like to have him down as well," he said.

Mr Ross said it would be more important to hear from key players including US firm Cerberus which purchased the portfolio from Nama last year.

But speaking to Ireland Live on Thursday night, he added: "Certainly if Mr Bryson wants to come in I suppose yes, he comes with a health warning, he has a political agenda, but we all have political agendas, we're all politicians so we all have a health warning as well."

Nama is the 'bad bank' set up by the Republic to clear property loans from bailed out lenders.

All parties involved in the transaction have vehemently denied acting unlawfully.

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