Politics, Deal Making and Illegality- Adair/Kearney’s sweetheart deals #NAMA 

One aspect of the unfolding Nama scandal that was not afforded due attention, was the then DUP Finance Minister’s attempt to have former Anglo-Irish bank boss Neil Adair appointed to the Nama Northern Ireland advisory panel. 

The fact that Sammy Wilson had tried to appoint Mr Adair only became apparent when previously redacted Department of Finance papers were provided to the Departments scrutiny committee who were investigating the Nama scandal. 

In 2006 Neil Adair left the Anglo-Irish bank and teamed up Paddy Kearney. The pair, along with another man, Brian McConville, formed a company called PBM Ltd, which would later become Kilmona holdings. 

In a media interview given at this time Mr Adair stated “I’ve always seen myself as a deal-maker first and banker second.” 

As Adair, Kearney and McConville embarked on numerous business ventures together, they were funded by the Anglo-Irish bank to the tune of £260m. 

Confidential reports from the following years however show that the company were becoming “hopelessly insolvent” and were unable to pay their interest. 

By 2009 the company had debts of circa £317m. Over £200m of these debts would later be written off, after lobbying by then First Minister Peter Robinson, and Mr Kearney eventually received a sweetheart deal from Cerberus, in which he not only had millions of pounds written off but he was also permitted to purchase the assets of developers who were in far less debt than Mr Kearney. 

The favourable treatment of Mr Kearney by Cerberus must be viewed in the context that the Finance Minister Sammy Wilson sought to put Kearney’s business partner, Neil Adair, onto the Nama advisory panel in 2009. 

Mr Adair had worked alongside Mr Kearney as he accrued the enormous debts that followed him into Nama following the collapse of the Anglo-Irish Bank. 

Questions have been raised about why Mr Sammy Wilson sought to appoint Neil Adair and what due diligence was carried out prior to this proposed appointment, given the fact that Mr Adair’s business partner was a huge debtor in Nama. 

Following Paddy Kearney’s sweetheart deal from Cerberus, the then First Minister Peter Robinson attended a celebratory dinner in Carrickfergus. 

As part of this sweetheart deal, Mr Kearney had to refinance his loans through Jeffries loan core. 

One of the companies controlled by Paddy Kearney was previously owned by a man who will be referred to here as ‘GB’. 

This gentleman had assets of circa £90m but during the crash the value of these assets fell and the business began to fall into troubled waters. 

The Anglo-Irish bank approached ‘GB’ and informed him he would be going into administration- unless the sold 50% of his company to their former employees business partner, Paddy Kearney. 

Left with little option ‘GB’ agreed to this deal, but upon closing the deal he was informed that Kearney wanted 70% of his company. Anglo told him he had no choice but to agree to sell it for £1. 

Once these debts found their way into Cerberus they had to be refinanced as part of the package agreed with Jeffries Loan Core. The sticking point was that ‘GB’s’ company had to be owned 100% by Mr Kearney.

It is understood that individuals acting for Mr Kearney falsified ‘GB’s’ power of attorney, which was then witnessed by Tughans, and signed over- illegally- 100% of the company to Paddy Kearney. 

It was such deals that Mr Robinson celebrated when he attended the party hosted by Paddy Kearney in Carrickfergus following his sweetheart refinancing deal. 


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