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Sport Ireland tell Oireachtas Committee FAI grants were spent correctly

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

20:08 17 Dec 2019

Sport Ireland will tell the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport that its funding was spent correctly by the FAI.

Chief Executive John Treacy, Chairman Kieran Mulvey and Director of Strategic Programmes Colm McGinty are set to appear in front of the Committee on Wednesday.

In their opening statement, which has been seen by Off The Ball, Treacy says the KOSI audit of the FAI recently referred to the Gardai shows that all taxpayer funding allocated between 2015 and 2018 was spent as intended.

The FAI have declined an invitation to attend a hearing of the Committee tomorrow morning.

FAI Company Secretary Rea Walshe informed the Committee that the focus of the Board is on the financial restructuring necessary to safeguard jobs and the association's future.

Treacy's opening statement to the Committee will say that they received KOSI's audit report on Tuesday November 26 and provided a copy of the report to the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross.

The Sport Ireland Chief Executive adds, "The independent forensic audit completed by KOSI confirmed that the FAI spent all taxpayer funding allocated through Sport Ireland in line with approved submissions and for the purposes it was given by Sport Ireland during the period 2015-2018.

"KOSI found that the consumption of Sport Ireland grants has been safely covered by FAI expenditure in the programme areas supported."

Minster Ross met an FAI delegation on Monday night to discuss the association's poor financial state, which includes liabilities of €55m.

He now wants to meet with the European football governing body UEFA to "intensify the search for a solution to the deep problems inflicted on the FAI".

Speaking after yesterday's meeting with the FAI delegation, he also said Government funding won't be restored to the FAI any time soon.

He observed: "We're unable to meet their request for a bailout - that was something which the Government has completely set its mind against.

"We've decided ourselves that [the FAI] haven't complied with corporate governance... they haven't reformed properly yet... they still have at least one person who was on the old board on this board.

"They haven't appointed independent directors, and they haven't appointed an independent chief executive officer.

"On top of that they've got an enormous debt, and I think restoring funding at this stage would be quite absurd."

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FAI John Treacy KOSI Oireachtas Committee Shane Ross Sport Ireland

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