Head of sport committee says Delaney loan needs answers

Sport Ireland was right to suspend funding to FAI, sayd Fergus O’Dowd

The chair of an Oireachtas committee who will quiz John Delaney today on a €100,000 payment he made to the Football Association of Ireland has described it as a "huge issue" that needs answers.

Fergus O’Dowd, who heads the all-party committee on sport, said there was no reason TDs and senators shouldn’t be given a “full answer” to corporate governance questions around the money transfer.

“That is a huge issue.. this is the €100,000 question,” he said.

“Was it a loan, was it a bridging loan, an item? We don’t know what it was, but we want to know the corporate governance around it. Who knew what and when?


“It appears all of the board (of the FAI) did not know exactly what was going on and that is a huge issue for us.”

Mr O’Dowd said the members of the board “who knew and didn’t know” as well as former FAI chief executive Mr Delaney “who wrote the cheque” will face “fair and robust” questioning about the payment at a committee meeting on Wednesday.

The Fine Gael TD said the decision by Sport Ireland to suspend funding from the FAI for breaching funding rules is a "very serious development and a very grave development because it puts in jeopardy, financially, the organisation."

Mr O’Dowd added that it was the correct decision.

"Hopefully Sport Ireland and the FAI can reach consensus on change that is needed to make sure Sport Ireland has confidence in their corporate governance," he told RTÉ radio.