Saturday 16 December 2017

Challenge to probe into 'funding interference'

Tim Healy

A MEMBER of the Irish Sports Council board has launched a legal challenge over a decision to investigate allegations of wrongdoing against him.

The High Court heard the ISC investigation into John Byrne relates to complaints made by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) alleging "improper interference with the funding process".

Mr Byrne, who is also CEO of the Community Games, has been a member of the ISC's 11-person board since 2009.

On April 16, former Director of Corporate Enforcement Paul Appleby was appointed by the ISC to conduct an investigation into the allegations.

However Mr Byrne, who denies any allegations of wrongdoing against him, claims the investigation is unfair, lacks fair procedures and should not be allowed to go ahead.

Mr Byrne wants the court to quash the decision to appoint Mr Appleby as the independent investigator.

He claims board members do not have power to investigate each other.

The ISC is opposing Mr Byrne's action and says it is entitled to conduct an investigation under its code of conduct. Yesterday at the High Court, Mr Justice Michael Peart agreed to adjourn the application to later this month.

The investigation is to be stayed, pending the outcome of the hearing.

Irish Independent

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