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Shane Ross says John Delaney €100k loan 'raises serious questions' about FAI

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has previously described the loan as a “bit unusual”.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Images

TRANSPORT MINISTER SHANE Ross has commented for the first time on the €100,000 bridging loan provided by former CEO of the Football Association of Ireland John Delaney to the organisation.

The minister, responding to questions posed by Dublin TD Noel Rock in the Dáil this evening, said that this was a “very important matter”:

The recent media reports to which the Deputy referred, regarding a loan provided to the FAI by its CEO, have raised serious questions about governance and financial controls in the FAI. 

Delaney has been in headlines recently after the Sunday Times reported that he had given the FAI a payment of €100,000.

Delaney subsequently released a statement explaining that it was a “once-off bridging loan to the Association to aid a very short-term cash flow issue”, and that this was “the only occasion on which I provided the Association with a short-term loan”.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has described the loan as a “bit unusual”.

On Saturday, after Ireland’s 1-0 win against Gibraltar, it was announced that Delaney was stepping aside from his role as CEO, and taking up a new role as Executive Vice-President.

Speaking to the Dáil this evening, Ross said that as Sport Ireland is currently engaged with the FAI “to clarify these matters”, and are due to submit a report to the Minister, he would refrain from making further comment.

In the interests of due process and natural justice, it is important that Sport Ireland’s engagement with the FAI would be given the necessary time to ensure that all matters are considered thoroughly. 

“Therefore, I do not wish to make any comment on any possible outcome from this ongoing process,” he said.

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Ross added in his statement to the Dáil that it would be “utterly wrong” for him to answer questions put to him before “everybody [has been] properly heard” and that when the report is complete, it will “be published by me without fear or favour to anybody”.

An Oireachtas Committee is due to question Delaney and FAI officials on 10 April.

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