NAMA Inquiry

An inquiry is being held into allegations surrounding the sale of a property portfolio to NAMA.

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Ó Muilleoir agrees to appear before NAMA inquiry

Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir has agreed to appear before Stormont’s finance committee over the NAMA ‘coaching scandal’.

The committee met on Wednesday to discuss allegations that its former chair Daithí McKay had contact with witness Jamie Bryson.

The date of Mr Ó Muilleoir’s appearance is yet to be arranged.

Sinn Féin committee member Caitríona Ruane said the minister has done nothing wrong and hit out at what she called a “political witch hunt”.

She said Sinn Féin has nothing to hide.


Sinn Féin ‘disappointed’ by resignations in north Antrim

A spokesperson for Sinn Féin said the party is “disappointed at the decision of individuals in North Antrim”.

“Daithí McKay acknowledged that his contact with loyalist Jamie Bryson was inappropriate and wrong,” they said.

"Sinn Féin's Cuige Uladh consulted with party activists in the North Antrim area and, following approval by the party's Ard Chomhairle, Philip McGuigan was co-opted as an MLA for the constituency.

"We are disappointed at the decision of the individuals to resign.

"Sinn Féin will continue to provide first-class representation for the people of North Antrim."

Mass resignations by SF activists over handling of Daithí McKay’s replacement

Daithí McKay resigned after being accused of ‘coaching’ Jamie Bryson ahead of his appearance before a Stormont Finance Committee inquiry into NAMA. Credit: Press Eye

Eighteen Sinn Féin members in North Antrim have resigned over the party's handling of replacing Daithí McKay as MLA.

Mr McKay stood down a fortnight ago in the wake of the NAMA inquiry ‘coaching’ scandal.

The mass stepping down by the 17 activists and local councillor Paul Maguire came in a letter to the party’s Ulster council, according to the Ballymena Guardian.

“It is inconceivable for us to remain, in light of the way that Daithí McKay has been treated by the Cuige (council) ‘leadership’ after his years of dedicated service to the party, and the subsequent ‘anointing’ of his successor Philip McGuigan,” the letter stated.

Sinn Féin announced last week that Philip McGuigan was to replace Daithí McKay as North Antrim MLA. Credit: Sinn Féin

Mr McGuigan has served as a councillor in the area since 2001 and was an MLA for North Antrim from 2003 to 2007. He signed in as MLA on Tuesday morning.

Mr Maguire, who intends to remain as an independent councillor on the Mid and East Antrim council, said those leaving were dismayed both at the way in which the search for Mr McKay’s successor was conducted and how he had been personally treated.

He said that Mr McKay’s position was filled by the Ulster Council “without any meaningful consultation with the Comhairle Ceantair (local council) whatsoever”.

The list of those resigning includes members from Glenravel, Ballymena, Portglenone, Bannside, Braid and Moyle.

First Minister backs call for Ó Muilleoir to step aside

First Minister Arlene Foster has spoken publicly for the first time about the NAMA 'coaching' scandal.

On Friday she said it would "benefit the institutions" if Máirtín Ó Muilleoir temporarily stepped down while an investigation is carried out.

It follows calls from the Stormont Finance Committee, which met on Tuesday to discuss allegations that its former chair, Daithí McKay, had contact with witness Jamie Bryson prior to his appearance at the NAMA inquiry.

Mr McKay resigned last week after the revelations were made public.

Mr Ó Muilleoir, who was mentioned in the social media exchanges, said he has “absolutely no knowledge of any communications between Daithí McKay and Jamie Bryson” and he will not be leaving his post.

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