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File photo. FAI HQ in Abbotstown
File photo. FAI HQ in Abbotstown
Image: ©INPHO

Garda probe under way into a number of threatening letters sent to FAI staff

Officials from the FAI have declined an invitation to appear before an Oireachtas Committee tomorrow morning.
Dec 10th 2019, 9:16 PM 17,456 18

GARDAÍ ARE INVESTIGATING after the Football Association of Ireland reported receiving a number of suspicious letters to its headquarters. 

TheJournal.ie and The42.ie understand that threatening letters were sent to individuals at the organisation at some stage last week.

It’s understood a letter was sent to staff last week on behalf of interim executive lead Paul Cooke that the FAI was working closely with gardaí in Blanchardstown over a number of “postal incidents”. 

A number of security measures were also being put in place as a precaution, this letter said. 

In a statement to TheJournal.ie this evening, a garda spokesperson said: “An Garda Síochána are currently investigating correspondence received at the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) at their Headquarters at Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.

“There is no further comment at this stage.”

On Friday, the FAI revealed it had liabilities of over €55 million in its annual report.

The FAI also disclosed last week that it had paid a settlement of €462,000 to former CEO John Delaney while its outgoing president Donal Conway said the association’s financial model was “clearly not fit for purpose”. 

Officials from the FAI had been due to appear before a sitting of the Oireachtas Committee on Sport tomorrow but said this morning it was unable to accept the invitation. 

A statement from the association said they want to focus on “the refinancing package that will guarantee the future of the FAI and safeguard jobs” for now, meaning they won’t have time to attend the hearing this week.

It comes after a turbulent few months for the embattled FAI which culminated in the revelation of its dire financial situation last Friday

State funding from Sports Ireland remains suspended, and the FAI is also under investigation by the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement.

With reporting from Gavin Cooney

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Sean Murray

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