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Dublin: 17 °C Saturday 21 September, 2019

ODCE asks High Court to determine if documents held by FAI auditors are legally privileged

The material from Deloitte was briefly mentioned before the judge today.

Rea Walshe (far left) as part of an FAI delegation attending an Oireachtas hearing in April
Rea Walshe (far left) as part of an FAI delegation attending an Oireachtas hearing in April
Image: Leah Farrell via

THE ODCE HAS asked the High Court to determine if parts of documents held by the FAI’s auditors Deloitte are legally privileged.

In a motion, brought under the 2014 Companies Act, the ODCE wants Justice Leonie Reynolds to examine this additional material, provided to it by Deloitte as part of its probe into “certain matters” concerning the association.

A decision from the court if certain documents given by the association to the director are to be assessed to see if they are legally privileged or not is expected to be made before the end of the month.

The material from Deloitte was briefly mentioned before the judge today.

Kerida Naidoo SC for the ODCE said the court was being asked to look at sections of four documents concerning Deloitte. Three had already been provided to the court along with other material sent to the ODCE by the FAI.

The fourth document has been provided in a sealed envelope. The document has been forwarded to the FAI and it will identify to the judge what parts it says are legally privileged.

The judge thanks Deloitte for its assistance, and adjourned the matter.

The judge will now decide whether or not the contents of the document from Deloitte, along with other documents provided by the FAI to the ODCE earlier this year are legally privileged and cannot be used as part of the ODCE investigation.

Any material deemed covered by legal privilege cannot be used as part of the ODCE’s probe.

The material related to the minutes of all meetings of the FAI Board of Directors and committees of the board for the period 1 January 2016 to 21 March 2019 inclusive.

The FAI claims privilege over certain extracts of documents generated out of these meetings, it has provided to the ODCE.

It has made the claim of privilege in order to protect the FAI’s position against third parties and not the ODCE.

The items which the FAI claims privilege over includes legal advice the board received from the FAI’s interim CEO Rea Walshe in February 2016 over an agreement with a prospective sponsor and in November that year of the FAI’s potential liability over possible and ongoing legal actions against it.

It also seeks to have legal advice the board received regarding an internal investigation and the rights of affected parties to bring appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in June 2017.

Other matters it seeks to claim privilege over are legal advice from Walshe regarding disciplinary matters in December 2017 and legal advice concerning an application from one of its members concerning an application for a licence in January 2018.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing.

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About the author:

Aodhan O Faolain

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