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Taoiseach describes John Delaney's €100k bridging loan to FAI as 'a bit unusual'

Delaney has already issued two statements on the matter.

Image: Eamonn Farrell via RollingNews.ie

Updated Mar 20th 2019, 9:25 PM

TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR has described a bridging loan given to the FAI by its own chief executive John Delaney as “a bit unusual”. 

Delaney said he issued his employers a personal cheque worth €100,000 in April 2017 which he described as  “a once-off bridging loan to the Association to aid a very short-term cash flow issue”.

Delaney said that the money was repaid in full in June 2017, and that it was the only occasion on which he issued the Association with a loan. 

He further addressed the loan in a second statement published by the FAI last week, in which he said he acted in the FAI’s best interests. 

Speaking outside Government Buildings this evening, Varadkar said: “It is a matter for the FAI but it does seem a bit unusual that a body of that size given its operations and the funding it receives. I would have thought [it] had banking facilities that would have provided for a loan. I know that Sport Ireland and the joint committee of the Oireachtas will want to ask questions about that.”

Sport Ireland yesterday said it was seeking “urgent clarification” surrounding details of the loan. 

The statutory authority released a statement to clarify that it had not received any notification regarding a reduction in the association’s financial position.

“Sport Ireland has written to the President of the Football Association of Ireland seeking urgent clarification from the Board of the FAI on media reports concerning a loan to the organisation by its Chief Executive, including the circumstances of the loan and its repayment,” the statement read.

“Sport Ireland was not notified at any stage in 2017 about any apparent material deterioration in the FAI’s financial position, as per Sport Ireland’s Terms and Conditions of Grant Approval, and has sought additional clarification in relation to this matter.”

In a statement this evening the FAI said: 

The Football Association of Ireland confirms that a reply has been sent to John Treacy, CEO of Sport Ireland, in relation to a letter received on behalf of Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross on Tuesday.

“The FAI has answered all queries raised in the letter from Mr Treacy and looks forward to his response.

“The FAI are also willing to meet with Minister Ross and Sport Ireland to discuss these matters further.”

With reporting from Adam Daly 

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