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The FAI has settled a €368k bill with An Garda Síochána for policing major football matches

The FAI’s ability to repay the monies owed follows a €55 million government package which saved the organisation last year.

File photo. Gardaí on the scene near the Aviva Stadium
File photo. Gardaí on the scene near the Aviva Stadium
Image: Barry Cronin/PA Images

THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION of Ireland (FAI) has cleared its €368,000 debt to the gardaí for policing major international matches.

A Garda spokesman confirmed that the FAI has paid all of the monies owed to the gardaí concerning the outstanding policing bill.

In December 2019, it emerged that the gardaí were €357,244 out of pocket over the cash-strapped FAI’s failure to pay any money that year for policing operations at major Irish soccer internationals at the Aviva stadium in Dublin.

In the last week of November last, gardaí confirmed that at that stage that the FAI had managed to repay just €19,000 of the monies owed with €368,000 remaining owed to Gardai for policing major international matches.

The spokesman said that the time at the gardaí were continuing to pursue the recovery of the outstanding sum, while FAI sources stated at the time that the Association is “in discussions with the Gardai around the timeline for the full payment of all monies owed”.

The money was repaid shortly after that with the garda spokesman now confirming: “The outstanding debt of approximately €368,000 owed to An Garda Síochána by the FAI for policing events, has been repaid in full as of December 2020.”

The FAI’s ability to repay the monies owed follows a €55 million government package which saved the organisation last year.

The policing bill would be much larger but for all games at the Aviva since March being played behind closed doors with no fans due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

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Prior to the €19,000 payment made last year by the FAI, the gardaí last year confirmed that before 2020, the last payment received from the FAI was €45,345 for non-public duties in June 2018.

In total, the FAI paid €184,479 to the gardaí for non public duties in 2018 and €283,630 in 2017.

Last year, the Garda FOI unit declined to release correspondence between the gardaí and the FAI concerning the outstanding monies as the release “could impact future negotiations, therefore having an adverse effect on the performance of the organisation.”

The FOI unit stated that the release could impact on the final stages of the negotiations with the FAI “and therefore have an adverse impact on the performance of the organisation. The release of this type of detailed information is not in the best interest of the public.”

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Gordon Deegan

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