Saturday 20 January 2018

Sports Council member challenges inquiry

A MEMBER of the Irish Sports Council (ISC) board has launched a High Court challenge over a decision to investigate allegations of wrong doing against him.

The action is being brought by John Byrne, who is also CEO of the Community Games, in his role as member of the ISC's11-person board since 2009.

The ISC is the body that directs the development of all sport in Ireland. Its responsibilities include sports funding, high performance and anti-doping.

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

On April 16 last, Paul Appleby, a former Director of Corporate Enforcement, 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.

In his proceedings against the ISC, 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.

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