The Central Bank is about to purchase two buildings in Dublin’s North Wall Quay for a staggering €204 million.
The buildings are owned by one the Celtic Tiger most famous property developers, Sean Mulryan. When the economy crashed in 2008, Mulryan owed €2.8 billion in debts to NAMA. But like many of the super-rich, he never suffered too much, unlike many ordinary people.
Instead he was pampered by the Irish state which was determined to rescue the super-rich. Despite running up enormous debts he was allowed to keep his luxurious home with its three swimming pools, a gym, a powder room, landscaped gardens and a private bar.
He was paid €200,000 a year by NAMA to ‘partner’ it in managing properties it had acquired.
If NAMA were able to sell properties above the price they acquired them for, Mulryan could get a 10% bonus.
Meanwhile workers who were caught up in the Celtic Tiger collapse had to emigrate or face eviction from their homes.
The banks were allowed to fleece mortgage holders with artificially inflated payments. Even to this day, there are thousands who fear that these same banks are ready to pounce to get hold of properties that have risen in price.
But speculators like Mulryan have been able to ride off into the sunset and continue with their life of luxury. Like other developers he teamed up with a foreign property fund, the Singapore-listed developer, Oxley, to get back into the game.
And there was always the Irish state ready to help again. This time by paying an over the odds price for a Central Bank aquisution.