Nama: Who is Thomas O'Hara - the man who 'coached' Jamie Bryson before Stormont hearing?

Thomas O'Hara speaking at Sinn Fein's Ard Fheis

THOMAS O'Hara, the man apparently used by Daithí McKay to act as a 'back channel' to Jamie Bryson, would not be well known outside of republican circles.

A member of Sinn Fein's Portglenone cumann, he was a regular on the canvas with Mr McKay during the May assembly elections and is often seen at party events in the North Antrim area.

Earlier this year he addressed the party Ard Fheis, reading from a statement calling for greater gender equality.

Sinn Fein suspends Thomas O'Hara

The YouTube clip of the softly-spoken activist at the conference was uploaded by Daithí McKay.

The party colleagues are clearly long standing friends and have been regularly photographed together.

On September 17 last year Mr McKay sent a private message to Jamie Bryson, with whom he had been communicating for several weeks, saying "follow @thomasgohara".

From then on all private message exchanges with Mr Bryson go through the Thomas O'Hara account.

It is these exchanges that are the most damning.

Read the correspondence

On September 19, four days before the loyalist's appearance in front of the finance committee, a message from the O'Hara Twitter account says: "A wee suggestion for your closing paragraph. When talking about Robinson refer to him as 'Person A'.

"So say all you have to say about him referring to him as Person A. Then in your final line say: 'Person A is Peter Robinson MLA.' Means that the committee cannot interrupt you and means that you don't have to say Robbo's name until the very last second. So then it's job done!"

While Mr McKay yesterday resigned his assembly seat and apologised for his actions in communicating with Jamie Bryson ahead of his evidence session, there was no party statement in regards to Mr O'Hara's future within the party.

Sources say that Mr McKay took full responsibility when challenged about the secret communication with the loyalist.

Mr O'Hara's Twitter account, with 403 followers, most of them Sinn Féin party members and activists, was set to private yesterday having previously been open.

His Facebook page, which had previously been full of Sinn Féin press statements and pictures of him canvassing during the elections with Daithí McKay and other senior party members, was deleted.

Read full Nama coverage

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