Nama man Ronnie Hanna met Cerberus chief hours before Project Eagle bid deadline

Ronnie Hanna was Nama's head of asset recovery when the Project Eagle sale to Cerberus went through

SENIOR Nama officials met the head of Cerberus the day before the US fund bid to buy £4.5bn worth of Northern Ireland-based loans, it has been revealed.

Ronnie Hanna, Nama's head of asset recovery at the time, met with Cerberus chairman John Snow for a one-hour meeting on March 31, 2014.

Just three days later, Cerberus had a bid of £1.2bn to buy the loans accepted.

The portfolio - named Project Eagle - formed the vast majority of loans in the north held by Nama, the Republic's so-called bad bank.

According to Mr Hanna's diary, the meeting with Mr Snow took place a day before the deadline to bid for the loans.

It was released following a Freedom of Information request by the Sunday Times in Dublin.

Nama described the meeting as a "courtesy visit" and said was allowed to go ahead on the basis that Project Eagle was not discussed.

Nama chairman Frank Daly and chief executive Brendan McDonagh also attended the meeting.

Cerberus was one of three firms involved in the bidding process.

Last month, it emerged Mr Hanna, and Gareth Robinson, son of former first minister Peter Robinson, were sent letters inviting them to attend Stormont's finance committee probe into the Project Eagle deal.

It followed the naming of Mr Hanna in secret footage for a BBC Spotlight programme as someone who "prevented people's lights going out".

The comment was made by Mr Cushnahan, who was also filmed saying he was due a secret 'fixer's fee' from the Project Eagle sale.

Speaking about "Ronnie", Mr Cushnahan told a developer whose loans were in Nama, that "People's lights would have gone out except for him. I mean that sincerely."

Mr Hanna, who left Nama in late 2014 now runs a consultancy business in the north.

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