Monday 25 September 2017

Community Games chief suspended as probe begins

Fiachra O Mathuna: is
contesting allegations
Fiachra O Mathuna: is contesting allegations

Greg Harkin

THE chief executive of the Community Games has been suspended from his position pending an internal investigation, the Irish Independent has learned.

Fiachra O Mathuna confirmed he was on leave from his €65,000-a-year post.

The Irish Independent understands that Mr O Mathuna is being investigated about a number of issues relating to how the organisation was being run from its offices in Dublin.

Informed sources said that Mr O Mathuna was contesting a number of allegations that had been made and believed he was unfairly suspended from his position.

"There's something of a stand-off over this now," said the source.

A mediator, appointed by the Irish Sports Council, has been brought in to liaise with Mr O Mathuna and the board of the Community Games while the investigation continues.

"Mr O Mathuna is suspended on full pay and this in no way reflects on the investigation or its outcome, but the board of the Community Games organisation has authorised talks through an intermediary," the source added.

A spokesman for the Sports Council, the main funder of the Community Games, said it was aware of Mr O Mathuna's situation.

In a statement, the spokes-man added: "The Sports Council has been involved in bringing in an independent mediator to help resolve the dispute."

He said the body would not comment further as it was a matter for the board of the Community Games.

The organisation's president, Gerry Davenport, would only say "no comment" when asked.

Mr O Mathuna, who was appointed chief executive in July 2008, said: "I am on some leave at the moment all right, but I don't think I can say any more than that."

Enthusiast

He has worked at various positions within sport both here and in England as a volunteer and as an administrator. He is also a keen sports enthusiast, taking part in both triathlons and marathons.

The Community Games was founded in the late 1960s and has 20,000 volunteers and 200,000 participants across all 32 counties.

While it is run mainly by volunteers, it has six staff based at its offices in west Dublin.

Past Community Games participants have included Niall Quinn, Sonia O'Sullivan and John Treacy, as well as actors Colin Farrell and Saoirse Ronan.

Irish Independent

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