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Oireachtas Committee to notify FAI and John Delaney of areas to be covered in questioning over governance

TDs are to submit their lines of questioning to the FAI and John Delaney ahead of their appearance before the Oireachtas Sports Committee over governance concerns later this month.

Legal advice set to be received by members is expected to warn that Mr Delaney and FAI officials should be treated fairly and that the committee should not stray beyond its remit.

The move comes after criticism by the Supreme Court last month that the Public Accounts Committee acted "significantly" outside its remit while quizzing former Rehab chief Angela Kerins.

Sports Committee sources have confirmed that its members discussed getting advice on the hearings at a private meeting earlier this week. This will be sought from the Office of the Parliamentary Legal Advisors (OPLA).

The Sports Committee is seeking explanations over a €100,000 bridging loan supplied by Mr Delaney as FAI CEO to the association in 2017, as well as over financial governance issues.

Mr Delaney has since been given a new role as FAI executive vice president. There have also been reports that the association paid rent of €3,000 a month for him as CEO.

Fine Gael TD Noel Rock called this week for a full independent inquiry into the FAI's governance, to protect "taxpayers money". The sports committee member also wants questions answered over leasing deals, FAI board member expenses as well as other financial arrangements.

However, Sports Minister Shane Ross said Sport Ireland, which appears before the committee next week, is carrying out a review of the FAI and he will not comment ahead of that being finalised and then published.

Committee sources confirmed that steps are being taken to carefully prepare how Mr Delaney and FAI officials will be quizzed in Leinster House.

A source said: “We don't want to go outside our remit and of course are conscious of the Kerins case. It would be helpful, sensible to get this advice. It was suggested, and it would come from the OPLA."

However, while committee members are expected to notify the FAI and Mr Delaney of the areas to be raised at the April 11 public hearing, exact questions will not be shared in advance.