Court dismisses bid by Cork City FC chairman to overturn suspension


THE HIGH Court has dismissed an attempt by the chairman of Cork City FC to overturn a decision by a Football Association of Ireland disciplinary committee to suspend him for 12 months from football activities for bringing the game into disrepute.

Tom Coughlan brought judicial review proceedings to quash the committee’s finding of December 17th last that Mr Coughlan had brought the game into disrepute. The committee also imposed a 12-month ban from all football-related activities and a fine of €5,000. Mr Coughlan claimed the ban will have disastrous effects on efforts to secure additional funding for the club.

Yesterday, Mr Justice John Hedigan dismissed the case on the basis the FAI as a private sporting body is not amenable to judicial review. He also rejected claims of breaches of fair procedures.

The charges of bringing the game into disrepute levied against Mr Coughlan, Eglantine Park, Douglas, Co Cork, relate to allegations he failed to pay employees on time, failed to meet obligations to the Revenue and failed to pay insurance premiums on time.

It was also alleged he failed to pay the ESB, resulting in supply being cut off, bounced cheques to referees and the Revenue, failed to pay transport costs and was involved in two high-profile winding-up proceedings.

He had claimed he was denied fair procedures by the committee’s refusal to adjourn its meeting of December 17th, 2009, held arising out of his actions in connection with the club during the 2009 season. The FAI denied the claims.