Wednesday 13 November 2019

FAI claim privilege on two documents sought by Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement

The Football Association of Ireland is claiming privilege on two documents sought by the ODCI
The Football Association of Ireland is claiming privilege on two documents sought by the ODCI

Harry Clarke

The Football Association of Ireland is claiming privilege over two documents sought by the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement in their investigation into affairs at the governing body.

The ODCE is investigating matters at the FAI following the controversy that led to the resignation of former CEO John Delaney and has made a High Court application in relation to two of 10,048 documents presented to them by the FAI last week.

"The request for privilege on these two documents was made on the back of external legal advice to the FAI," read an FAI statement.

"To date, the FAI has produced tens of thousands of documents to the ODCE, including 40,000 in a production three weeks ago. Privilege was not sought over any of those 40,000 documents.

"A previous privilege request regarding 14 passages, contained in a total of 16 documents, was upheld by the High Court earlier this year.

"To date, the FAI has sought privilege on 16 documents in total from the tens of thousands submitted to the ODCE. The FAI continues to co-operate fully with the ongoing ODCE investigation."

Under the Companies Act, the ODCE has considerable powers to investigate corporate governance issues, up to and including seeking the appointment of High Court inspectors.

The ODCE received a number of complaints in relation to the FAI's finances following revelations of the €100,000 "bridging loan" in the Sunday Times, which the association said was required to aid cash flow.

The transaction took place in April 2017 and the money was repaid to Mr Delaney in full that June.

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