Thursday 23 January 2020

Minister for Sport Shane Ross says it would be 'premature' to attend Oireachtas committee meeting with FAI this week

Shane Ross
Shane Ross

Aidan Fitzmaurice

MINISTER for Sport Shane Ross says it would be "premature" for him to attend this week's meeting of the Oireachtas committee on sport but he will go before the committee next week, after the FAI have been grilled by Oireachtas members.

Following a request by Senator Pádraig Ó Céidigh, committee chair Fergus O'Dowd last night invited the FAI to come before the committee to discuss latest events involving the football body. A planned appearance by the FAI before the committee in October was postponed but Oireachtas members are keen to put questions to the FAI board at a meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

But Ross will not be present. "Minister Ross and Minister Griffin would be happy to meet with the Committee, at the soonest convenient juncture, after progress has been made on various important matters. As you are aware, Sport Ireland has developed an effective intermediary arrangement for the payment of grant funding to the Women's National Team," a spokesperson for Minister Ross said in response to the Committee's invitation.

"Sport Ireland is urgently examining a similar arrangement in relation to the provision of funding for development officers. Sport Ireland's expertise, as the funding agent, and their progression of the intermediary arrangement prior to meeting with the Committee would be welcomed, given the importance of protecting public funds. In these circumstances, the Ministers consider that it would be premature to meet the Committee on Wednesday, 11 December. Rather, the Ministers would be happy to meet the Committee on Wednesday, 18 December."

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