Monday 3 August 2009

DDDA saddled with big Ringsend losses

The annual report of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) is expected to show huge losses on the value of a planned project it is under taking with property developer Bernard McNamara and financier Derek Quinlan.

The publication of the report of the agency has been expected for some time, and an Oireachtas committee was promised accounts by last June. However, sources last week said that the annual report was not now expected until the autumn.

Niamh Brennan, a University College Dublin professor who is an expert on corporate governance, was appointed chairman of the authority last spring.

According to informed sources, she has been spending a significant amount of time in the DDDA’s headquarters, conducting a thorough examination of many of the authority’s activities.

Last week, Paul Maloney, the authority’s chief executive, retired after a board meeting. His contract was not due to expire until next May, and reports suggested that he would be paid a €150,000 lump sum to cover his salary until then.

The DDDA entered a joint venture with McNamara and Quinlan to acquire the former Irish Glass Bottle site in Ringsend for €412 million. Like many other undeveloped sites, the value of this site has now collapsed, leaving the state body nursing a large paper loss. According to one source, the authority could find itself ‘‘effectively broke’’.

The DDDA will now await details of the valuation methodology which Nama will impose on property assets, as a guide to how it should value its share of the Glass Bottle site in its accounts.

Finance for the Glass Bottle site was provided by Anglo Irish Bank.

At the time, Sean FitzPatrick was chairman of Anglo and also a member of the DDDA board.

Sunday Business Post

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