Chair of Oireachtas Committee calls for entire FAI board to resign

Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd believes a ‘full forensic audit’ of the association’s finances is necessary.

Fergus O'Dowd outside the Oireachtas last week.
Fergus O'Dowd outside the Oireachtas last week.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

FERGUS O’DOWD, chair of the Oireachtas Committee tasked with looking into corporate governance within the FAI, has called for the association’s entire board to resign.

At last week’s hearing, John Delaney refused to answer questions about the €100k loan he gave the FAI in 2017 — claiming he was precluded to do so on legal advice. 

Yesterday, the FAI said that former CEO Delaney has offered to step down from his newly-created position as executive vice-president pending the completion of an independent invesigation

While Sport Ireland has opted to suspend and withhold future funding to the FAI, Sport Ireland CEO will this afternoon meet with the Oireachtas Committee and Sports Minister Shane Ross, where Treacy will explain that the FAI are subject to “substantial” engagement with the Director of the Corporate Enforcement

Speaking on Today with Sean O’Rourke this morning, Fine Gael TD O’Dowd said a “full forensic audit” of the FAI is needed. 

“From the Oireachtas Committee point of view, we’ll have Sport Ireland and the minister [Shane Ross] in today, and from speaking to the members, there seems a significant opinion that the FAI board ought to resign in total.

Also, there ought to be a full forensic audit of the finances of the association. I think that represents the views of everybody on my committee.”

“The reason that they’re before us is that Sport Ireland have refused funding to the organisation because they don’t comply with corporate governance issues,” he added. “If they don’t comply, then they cut off their funding, and if any body, public or private, is not dealing with those issues appropriately, I think it’s entirely appropriate that the board should not be in place. 

They were in before us last week, and while they are a private organisation and they are not obliged to attend or answer questions, the fact is that they refused on questioning from me to have a forensic audit of their accounts, which should clear up the issue.

“I feel for public acceptability of the process, and that’s not reflecting on anybody’s professionalism anywhere, that an independent audit, not paid for by the organisation, will give comfort to everybody and facts that we presently don’t have.” 

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