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Sport Ireland refers audit report of FAI to An Garda Síochána

Sport Ireland decided to suspend and withhold future funding to the FAI in April.

The department says the report will not be published at this time. (File)
The department says the report will not be published at this time. (File)
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Updated Nov 27th 2019, 9:05 PM

MINISTER FOR SPORT Shane Ross has said the independent report into the FAI has been referred to An Garda Síochána.

The report was commissioned by Sport Ireland in May of this year and sought to assess the FAI’s expenditure of all Sport Ireland funding and its fitness to handle public funds.

In a statement this evening, the department said the report has been delivered to the minister and that Sport Ireland has passed it to gardaí.

“The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD, has received the Final Report of the Independent Audit of the FAI, conducted by KOSI Corporation Ltd, on behalf of Sport Ireland. The minister said that Sport Ireland has today referred the report to An Garda Síochána,” the statement said.

The minister will not be a position to publish the report or make any comment on its findings at this time.

In a letter to the Oireachtas Committee, Ross reiterated this point, outlining that he has taken legal advice on the final report.

“I understand that the Committee will continue to be engaged in this process as the FAI implements the serious reforms urgently required to restore public trust and enable Sport Ireland to once again provide public funding for the association’s programmes,” Ross wrote. 

“However, I regret to inform you that I have received legal advice directing that I do not share the final report with the Committee at this time, as to do so would be to place the document in the public domain,” he said. 

“I’m sure you will recognise the importance that I, as Minister, must afford to the principles of natural justice.” 

In a statement this evening, the Board of the FAI said it has yet to receive the final report from Sports Ireland. 

The Board of the FAI reiterated that “all government money allocated to the FAI by Sports Ireland was spent appropriately and as intended”. 

“The Board of the FAI and FAI staff are already cooperating fully with the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement in its enquiry into the FAI,” the Board said. 

The Board said the FAI will cooperate fully with any Garda Síochána investigation into FAI affairs. 

The audit team compiling the report consisted of a group of senior auditors and a forensic accountant.

Serious questions over finances at the FAI were raised in March of this year when the Sunday Times reported that former CEO John Delaney gave the organisation a loan of €100,000 in 2017. 

The following month, Sport Ireland decided to suspend and withhold future funding to the FAI.

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Rónán Duffy

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