ODCE application against FAI adjourned to Thursday

Application relates to ‘limited number of documents’ where legal privilege is claimed

The Officer of the Director of Corporate Enforcement's application to have the High Court to determine if documents given to it by the Football Association of Ireland contains privileged legal material has been adjourned to later this week.

The application, made under the 2014 Companies Act against the FAI, comes as part of an investigation by the ODCE in relation to “certain matters” concerning the association.

The High Court has heard it specifically relates to certain material and documents provided by the FAI to the ODCE last week.

The adjournment was sought by the FAI, represented in court on Tuesday by Shane Murphy SC, so it can prepare a sworn statement in response to the ODCE’s application concerning the alleged privileged material.


Seeking the adjournment Mr Murphy said the FAI's affidavit would "assist the court."

Counsel said that the FAI had provided the ODCE with the material it had requested.

He said the application relates to “a very limited number of documents” where legal privilege is claimed out of the total amount supplied.

In reply, Elva Duffy BL for the ODCE said her client had no objection to the short adjournment.

Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds noted from the papers in the case the level of co-operation between the parties and gave the FAI 24-hours to serve the affidavit on the ODCE.

The matter will be mentioned before the court on Thursday.

Ms Justice Reynolds had previously granted the ODCE permission to serve short notice of the application asking the court to make a determination if the documents are privileged legal material or not.

Last Friday lawyers for the ODCE told the High Court that its concerned “potentially legally privileged material”, which was part of a series of documents given to it by the FAI.

In a sworn statement to the court, the ODCE said on April 19th last it issued a notification requiring FAI to hand over copies of books and documents.

The documents sought include the minutes of all meetings of the FAI Board of Directors and Committees of the board for the period January 1st, 2016 to March 21st, 2019 inclusive.

On Wednesday, May 1st the FAI produced the required documentation, and also placed several documents, in a separate container, which the association is seeking to claim privilege over.

As part of the application, the ODCE will seek to have a legally qualified person examine the material and prepare a report for the court.

The integrity of the allegedly privileged material supplied by the association has been maintained, the ODCE also said in its sworn statement.

The FAI was also informed in advance of Friday’s court appearance by the ODCE of its intention to make the application to the court in respect of the documents, the ODCE said.