Sunday 19 November 2017

Athletics: Treacy and Kilkenny face grilling over €1m Coghlan settlement

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

TWO of the most powerful men in Irish sport face a serious grilling from their own board early next week on foot of last week's estimated €1m settlement with former Athletics Ireland Chief Executive Mary Coghlan.

Irish Sports Council Chief Executive John Treacy and Chairman Ossie Kilkenny will face tough questioning from the ISC's 10-person board about the high-profile court case that proved so costly and also raised questions about the nature of the ISC's relationship with Athletics Ireland.

The Sports Council's next meeting was not due until April 6 but an emergency meeting has been called for next Tuesday.

Coghlan took a case for invalid dismissal against the AAI and the Sports Council which was settled in the High Court a week ago.

During the case she alleged that Treacy and Kilkenny were part of an "orchestrated campaign" to get rid of her.


Given the Sports Council's strict insistence on accountability from all the sporting bodies it supports, it is expected that its own board will now demand equally forensic accountability from the two men at its own helm.

Most of the current ISC board were only appointed last September and were therefore not in situ when the athletics controversy originally blew up.

Ironically, the Sports Council are meeting on the same day that the Cabinet reshuffle is expected to be announced.

Former Minister for Sport Martin Cullen resigned recently for health reasons and there is heavy speculation that sport is about to be demoted to a junior ministry.

The fallout from Coghlan's dismissal case is also likely to cause further reverberations in Athletics Ireland, whose next board meeting is expected to take place tonight.

Elsewhere, Irish Olympians Martin Fagan and Alistair Cragg return to serious road-racing action on Sunday. Fagan competes in the LA Marathon while Cragg makes his half-marathon debut in New York in a world-class field.

It will provide little consolation to him after disqualification in the World Indoor 400m final but David Gillick has been voted European Athlete of the Month for February for his 45.52 second run at the Birmingham GP, which equalled his two-year-old national 400m record.

Irish Independent

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