Monday 19 October 2009

DDDA report to show €20m loss

The delayed 2008 annual report of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) is likely to show a loss of €20 million for last year, when it is released in the coming weeks.

The DDDA has a number of development projects in the docklands which have been threatened by the collapse in property values, and questions have been raised about the future financial viability of the agency.

Professor Niamh Brennan, the chairman of the agency, is believed to be examining decisions made by the authority in the past, including some property deals financed by Anglo Irish Bank.

Members of the Anglo Irish board, including former chief executive and chairman Sean FitzPatrick, were also members of the board of the DDDA.

Brennan was asked to chair the agency earlier this year after concerns arose in government about the corporate governance of the agency.

Among the DDDA’s interests is a 25 per cent stake in the former Irish Glass Bottle Site in Ringsend. The agency bought the site in 2006 with property developer Bernard McNamara and financier Derek Quinlan for €412 million.

Last week, The Sunday Business Post revealed that the value of the site had be en estimated at just €60 million, wiping out the majority of state agency’s investment. The DDDA has also been financing the clean-up of the 25-acre site, including the removal of asbestos.

The success of the clean-up is now in doubt, and awaiting an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision .Without EPA clearance, the site cannot be developed.

While the DDDA’s delayed annual report is expected to be published soon, further investigations may stem from the report, according to one source who is familiar with the government’s concerns about the agency.

Sunday Business Post

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