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John Delaney says he can't answer questions on €100,000 loan to FAI due to legal advice

And the former FAI chief cited ‘highly prejudicial’ comments at Oireachtas committee.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

FORMER FAI CEO John Delaney has refused to answer questions from the Oireachtas Sports Committee on the issue of his €100,000 loan to the Association.

The newly-installed executive vice-president is part of an FAI delegation which is appearing at Leinster House today.  

Delaney was expected to fully explain the transaction but he insists he can’t answer politicians’ questions due to legal advice. 

“On legal advice I am precluded from making any further comments at this hearing in relation to the finances of the Association or my former role as CEO or the €100,000 payment either directly or indirectly. 

“In the interests of fair proceedings and natural justice, while I have made this statement to the Committee and have attended this meeting voluntarily as I have attended many Oireachtas Committees in the past. I am not in a position to answer any such questions at this time. 

“Given that some members of this Committee have made highly prejudicial public pronouncements about me personally prior to my attendance here today and in light of the recent Supreme Court ruling in the Kerins case, I would ask that the Committee respects this position.”

A case taken by former Rehab CEO Angela Kerins against the public accounts committee is currently under considering by the Supreme Court. 

The former chief executive says he is saddened by Sport Ireland’s decision to withdraw funding from the FAI and on the €100,000 loan says in his statement: “I was advised at this meeting [on 25 April 2017] that if all cheques and FAI bank transfers issued to third parties at that time were presented for payment, the FAI would exceed its overdraft limit of €1.5 million on its bank account which was held with Bank of Ireland.

“At the meeting, I expressed serious concern and surprise as to how the FAI could have arrived at this position. I recall thinking at the time, if I had been approached even a few days earlier, I may have been able to better address the issue.

“As the matter was pressing and we had only a few hours to resolve potential issues that would arise if the bank overdraft was exceeded, as a precautionary measure and to assist the FAI, I wrote a cheque for €100,000 from my personal current account to the FAI.”

“On Monday 4 March 2019,” he continues, “I informed the board of the FAI of the precautionary payment I had made following a media query received from The Sunday Times.”

“I accept that the overdraft issue arose on my watch. I wish it hadn’t happened, but I acted in the best interest of the association.”

Following the proceedings throughout the day here> 

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