He famously predicted two years ago that house prices would rise by up to 30% within 12 to 18 months, adding that he would remind his fellow senators that he had told them so.

But as the second anniversary of his comments passed this weekend – and the government prepares to dole out huge "haircuts" on the first loans being moved into Nama – Senator Donie Cassidy remains unrepentant.

Instead, the music impresario and businessman, who has extensive property interests, told the Sunday Tribune that nobody could have foreseen the extent of the economic crisis.

Cassidy amazed some of his fellow senators when he declared in Seanad exchanges on 10 April 2008 that "now is the right time to buy".

He said: "We have a duty to tell first-time house buyers – young couples with no previous experience – that there is unbelievable value in the marketplace today. It will not last forever. It is never the wrong time to do the right thing. I offer the house the benefit of my experience and my opinion, which is all any member can do. I will remind the house, perhaps in 12 or 18 months when prices have again increased by 25% or 30%, that they were told this by the leader of the house."

Contacted by this newspaper last week, Cassidy defended his comments, arguing that, at the time, house prices had fallen by 25%-30% in the midlands alone. He said he also based his analysis on what happened in previous downturns in the 1970s and '80s.

"It is not that I regret [making those comments]. I was giving the house the benefit of my business knowledge… I don't think anyone heeded my advice. If I knew then what I know now, I think I would be more cautious in what I said."