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Dublin: 1°C Saturday 23 January 2021

Governance group set up to reform crisis-hit FAI ahead of crunch AGM

Sport Ireland and the football body have set-up a five-person group, the majority of whom are independent.

FAI offices at Abbottstown.
FAI offices at Abbottstown.
Image: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

THE FAI AND Sport Ireland have today confirmed the make-up of their new governance review group, which will develop proposals to reform the FAI ahead of its AGM in July. 

There are five people on the group, the majority of whom are external to the FAI.

Interim CEO Rea Walshe and WFAI Chair and Board member Niamh O’Donoghue are the FAI representatives, and they will work with Dr Moling Ryan -a management consultant who recently worked as Interim Director and Chief Executive of the Irish Museum of Modern Art – and Joseph O’Leary, a Partner in BMOL Partners. 

The group will be chaired by Aidan Horan, a director at the Institute of Public Administration. 

Given a new Board will be elected at the AGM on 27 July, the group will publish their recommendations of reform no later than 21 June. 

The group will report to the FAI and Sport Ireland, and will be able to consult with wider stakeholders including others within the FAI along with Uefa and Fifa. 

They will propose a set of good governance principles for the FAI, and will make recommendations on the nominations on Board members and directors along with term limits and succession planning. 

They will also seek input from affiliates and members of the FAI, and will consider what is discussed at a “stakeholders forum” which will be run by Minister for Sport Shane Ross. 

Minister Ross announced his intention to hold this forum at a recent Oireachtas Committee meeting, and stated his personal ambition that the FAI Board include fans and former players in the future. 

Although the FAI Board intend to step down at the forthcoming AGM, they are eligible to run for re-election if they wish to. 

As the FAI work with Sport Ireland on this governance issue, they are subject to a series of different investigations and reviews. The Office for the Director of Corporate Enforcement are investigating the Association, and they are also subject to reviews by Grant Thornton and consultancy firm Mazars. 

The Mazars review is expected to be extensive, and is expected to include an audit of credit card spending and third-party transactions. The FAI are to consult Sport Ireland and the ODCE on its terms of reference. 

Gavan Casey and Murray Kinsella are joined by Andy Dunne to get stuck into last weekend’s Champions Cup semi-finals.:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Gavin Cooney

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