The FAI's chief operating officer Rea Walshe offered personal legal advice to the association's then honorary secretary Michael Cody on a property matter in 2018, raising further questions about corporate governance at the association.
Correspondence seen by the Sunday Independent shows Walshe, who is a qualified solicitor, made representations on Cody's behalf in relation to a property in Foxrock, Co Dublin. It also shows she enlisted the support of another FAI employee to help with the matter.
A thread of emails shows Walshe, who was then the FAI's corporate affairs and licensing director, wrote to the association's facilities development manager Walter Holleran in August 2018 asking if he had experience obtaining maps from the Land Registry office.
Walshe was seeking to obtain a map related to a property in south Dublin in which Cody had an interest. She asked Holleran to meet her the following week.
In a follow-up email, she wrote: "If there is a need to go on site, in person, please let me know before proceeding and also let me know the cost when you can."
Holleran then enlisted the support of an external architect with a history of working with the FAI on projects.
Walshe and Holleran both used their FAI email addresses throughout the exchange.
The architect followed up with a screen grab of the site layout and forwarded a map of the property on Beechpark Road in Foxrock. No fee was exchanged for the architect's services, a source told the Sunday Independent.
A spokesman for the FAI confirmed Walshe was instructed verbally to provide free advice to honorary secretary Michael Cody to assist with a property matter in 2018 and 2019.
He said FAI management was informed that she was helping Cody with the matter.
This latest revelation raises further questions around the standards of corporate governance at the beleaguered association in recent years.
According to the Law Society of Ireland's regulatory guide for in-house solicitors, if an in-house solicitor wishes to provide legal services to a party other than their employer, they are required to set up a solicitor firm to comply with regulations and provide professional indemnity insurance.
As an employee of the FAI, Walshe is only permitted to act as a solicitor on matters relating to company business and is not indemnified for other legal work, even to offer "free advice". Solicitors who offer legal advice are required to have professional indemnity insurance. The Sunday Independent understands Walshe does not have such insurance.
"The FAI can confirm that Rea Walshe was instructed verbally to provide free advice to honorary secretary Michael Cody to assist with a property matter in 2018 and 2019," said the spokesman.
"Having informed senior FAI management, Ms Walshe used her FAI email address as the correspondence address for this matter. She received no payment from Mr Cody for the support provided. We can also confirm that Ms Walshe passed Mr Cody's matter on to an independent solicitor."
When contacted Mr Cody's solicitor Cahir O'Higgins said: "Rea Walshe gave him some advice in relation to a trivial property matter and was not paid for that advice and referred the matter on to another solicitor. It's an absolute non-issue."
The association is currently the subject of an Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement inquiry.