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'The FAI was very close to dying' - Niall Quinn on how funding from gambling and CAB can boost Irish sport

New FAI chief backs fresh thinking over finances and new ways of doing things, writes Wayne O'Connor

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Game plan: Interim deputy CEO at the FAI Niall Quinn. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Game plan: Interim deputy CEO at the FAI Niall Quinn. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Game plan: Interim deputy CEO at the FAI Niall Quinn. Photo: Gerry Mooney

At a gala dinner in the early 1990s Niall Quinn sat at a table with Jim Bolger. The racehorse trainer was drinking water. Quinn reckons he slugged 10 pints of Guinness before waking up the following morning with a ticket for a horse in his hand.

Quinn's face lights up his office in the FAI's Abbotstown headquarters when Cois na Tine is mentioned.

"The horse turned out to be an unbeaten two-year-old winter favourite for the Guineas," he beams.