ODCE and John Delaney reach agreement on inspection of documents and emails

Corporate watchdog investigating certain matters related to Football Association of Ireland

The Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) has reached an arrangement with former Football Association of Ireland (FAI) chief executive John Delaney over how the inspection of certain documents and emails seized from the association is to be conducted.

The corporate watchdog, as part of its ongoing investigation into certain matters concerning the football body, seized documents and material from the FAI’s offices at Abbottstown, Dublin on foot of a search warrant last February.

In proceedings before the High Court, the ODCE seeks to inspect these documents to see if they are relevant to the investigation. If the court finds that information contained in the documents is legally privileged, then it cannot be used as part of the investigation.

Mr Delaney, who the court was told now lives and works in the UK, was joined as a notice part to proceedings because some of the material taken may be private to him. The matter was briefly mentioned before Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds on Wednesday.


Kerida Naidoo SC, appearing with Elva Duffy BL for the ODCE, said the contents of 13 documents and a digital device holding an unknown number of emails may contain information private to Mr Delaney had been identified.

Counsel said steps had been agreed between the parties to allow Mr Delaney, who left the FAI last September, to inspect and identify any material on the device or in the documents which he says is private. Mr Delaney would be allowed to inspect a copy of the digital device, counsel said.

Counsel said in order to protect the rights that any matter Mr Delaney deems private, but which the ODCE considers relevant to its investigation, will be considered by just one member of the investigation team.

Counsel said it had also been agreed that the ODCE’s application for the High Court to determine if any of seized documents and material are legally privileged can be heard in July.

Jack Tchrakian BL, for Mr Delaney, said his client was consenting to making orders allowing the proposed method of examining the documents and emails to happen. Brian Gageby BL, for the FAI, said his client was also consenting.

Ms Justice Leonie expressed a wish to see matters move forward without any further delays. She made her comments after being informed by Mr Delaney’s counsel that he is prepared to travel to Ireland for the inspection, but there were concerns that those plans might be impacted on by Covid-19 restrictions.

In adjourning the proceedings, the judge said it was important that the inspection happened in the presence of Mr Delaney in the next two weeks as this would allow the ODCE’s application to proceed on schedule in July.