Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Questions (281)

Dara Calleary

Question:

281. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to a High Court action being taken by a member of the Irish Sports Council against a proposed investigation by the council into that member and others; the date on which he became aware of the intention of the Irish Sports Council to commence such an investigation; the way in which this information was made available to him by the Irish Sports Council; if he is satisfied that the provisions of the Irish Sports Council Act confers the necessary powers on the council to hold such an inquiry; if he will provide details of all expenditure incurred by the Irish Sports Council over the past ten years both through out-of-court or in-court settlements, including any legal costs involved; if he is satisfied that expenditure of this nature by the Irish Sports Council can be justified in view of the reducing budget provided to the Irish Sports Council for the development of sport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35589/13]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I am aware of the High Court action mentioned by the Deputy. I can confirm that I met with the Chairman of the Irish Sports Council on the 11th of April when he informed me, as a matter of courtesy, of his intention to recommend to the Irish Sports Council that an investigation be conducted into allegations of which the Chairman had been made aware.

The Deputy is aware that this matter is now before the courts and pending the determination of the court, it would not be appropriate for me to make any comment in relation to the investigation.

As the detail relating to expenditure incurred by the Irish Sport Council on legal costs and settlements is a matter for the Council, I have forwarded the Deputy's question to them for direct reply in this regard. I ask the Deputy to inform my office if a reply is not received within 10 days.

In light of the current financial circumstances and the reductions in funding for sport, I would prefer that public money for sport is used for the development of sport rather than for meeting legal costs or settlements and I have advised the Chairman of this.