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Sport Ireland says FAI 'has not sufficiently explained' the €100k John Delaney loan

Sport Ireland will appear before an Oireachtas Committee tomorrow.

Image: Niall Carson via PA

SPORT IRELAND HAS said that the FAI has not sufficiently explained all the circumstances surrounding John Delaney’s €100k loan to the association in 2017. 

Sport Ireland is due before an Oireachtas Committee tomorrow and its opening statement details that it was not informed at any point about any problems with the FAI’s financial position. 

Former FAI CEO John 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”, following media reports in the Sunday Times.

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. 

However, Sport Ireland said that the FAI did not give it a full explanation about all circumstances surrounding this loan. 

The opening statement to the Oireachtas reads: “Following media reports concerning a loan of €100,000 to the organisation by its now former Chief Executive, and at the request of the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross TD, Sport Ireland wrote to the President of the FAI on 19 March seeking urgent clarification from the Board of the FAI on the circumstances of the loan and its repayment.

“Sport Ireland also sought an explanation on why we were not notified at any stage in 2017 about any apparent deterioration in the FAI’s financial position, which is a requirement of the Terms and Conditions of Grant Approval Sport Ireland received a response from the President of the FAI which acknowledged the loan of €100,000 to the FAI by its then Chief Executive.

However, the contents of the FAI letter did not sufficiently explain the circumstances of this loan and its repayment, nor fully address the matter of compliance with Sport Ireland’s Terms and Conditions of Grant Approval.

Sport Ireland said it has an Audit & Risk Committee which commissions audits of Sport Ireland’s grantee organisations.

Over the past decade, the FAI has been audited by Sport Ireland’s independent auditors on more occasions than any other sporting organisation. 

Independent audits of the FAI have been completed, on Sport Ireland’s behalf in 2010, 2014 and 2016.

However, Sport Ireland said it is satisfied that effective control mechanisms and frameworks are in place with regard to its investment in the FAI.

It said it is also satisfied that its funding invested in the FAI is fully accounted for and expended on the purpose for which it was intended.

With reporting by Christina Finn

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