Business of Joint Committee

Apologies have been received from Deputies Catherine Murphy and Imelda Munster. Before we continue I ask that members turn off their mobile phones completely as they interfere with the recording equipment. Are there any matters that members wish to discuss in private session? Yes. I propose that the committee continues in private session.

The joint committee went into private session at 1.39 p.m. and resumed in public session at 1.54 p.m.

Before we commence the main business of the meeting, the committee must agree the minutes of the meetings of 3, 4, 9, 10 and 16 April, which have been circulated. Are there any matters arising? No. The minutes are agreed.

I turn to correspondence. On our recent hearings on governance and related matters concerning the Football Association of Ireland, FAI, we received a significant amount of correspondence. No. 2019/446 (a), (b), (c) and (e) is email correspondence from Ms Rea Walshe, the interim CEO of the Football Association of Ireland; No. 2019/447 (a), (b) and (e) is from Mr. Colm McGinty at Sport Ireland; No. 2019/449 (a) from Mr. Colm McGinty; No. 2019/449 (b) is correspondence between Sport Ireland and the FAI; No. 2019/450 is documentation received from Deputy Catherine Murphy; No. 2019/452 (a) and (b) is from Ms Rea Walshe, interim CEO of the FAI, dated 15 April; No. 2019/453 is an email received from Mr. John Treacy, CEO of Sport Ireland; No. 2019/454 is correspondence from the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Deputy Ross, providing a letter received from Mr. Donal Conway, president of the FAI; No. 2019/455 is from Mr. John Treacy, CEO of Sport Ireland; No. 2019/457 is an email received from Mr. Tom McNeice on the same issue; and No. 2019/461 (a) and (b) is an email from Mr. Colm McGinty of Sport Ireland. We have discussed these and relevant matters in private session. It is proposed to note this correspondence, which will be published on the website for those who are interested.

No. 2019/459 is an email from Mr. Larry Larkin, with whom it is proposed to schedule a meeting as soon as the committee schedule permits. Is that agreed?

What will it be about?

He and others want to make a presentation on an anomaly regarding the representation of Irish athletes competing in international competitions. In their correspondence they say that due to some issues, certain athletes cannot be included in national teams. It would be best for them to explain it.

That has been gone through before a number of years ago and is an issue with the federation.

We can ask them to come in.

If it is a repeat, it is a waste of time. We have invited people in to the committee before, and those who advocated that we invite them did not even turn up to the meetings.

That is a good start. I am in the members' hands. What will we do? We will note that correspondence.

Perhaps we can we defer it to next meeting because I am not even sure what it is about.

Can we ask them what solutions they are proposing and who can provide these solutions? I do not believe it is this committee, to be honest.

That is the view of the meeting. I propose that the committee will write back to request more detail on their proposals and to come back to us.

And to ask what they see as the solution and who is in control of the solution.

Okay. No. 2019/460 is an email from Mr. Damien Black of the air navigation services safety and security division regarding pre-legislative scrutiny. I propose to note this correspondence. Is that agreed? Agreed.

No. 2019/462 (a) and (b) is an email from Mr. Darren Clarke at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport about the €100,000 loan to Cricket Ireland. I propose that this correspondence is noted. Is that agreed? Agreed.

No. 2019/463 (a) and (b) is correspondence from Mr. John Kavanagh, head coach with the Irish Mixed Martial Arts Association, with regard to a submission. If members agree, the committee could ask the association to come in to give us a presentation at an appropriate time. Is that agreed? Agreed. When the committee looks at its work programme dates, we can take this forward.

No. 2019/464 is correspondence from the Clerk of the Dáil on a Private Member's Bill on road traffic accidents, RTAs, that had been read a second time. I propose that the committee notes this correspondence. Please note that the sponsor of the Bill must make a scrutiny request to the committee in writing. We will await that request. Is that agreed? Agreed.

No. 2019/444 is an email from Mr. Paul Allen of the All-Ireland Cruise Ship Action Group. This is a hot issue for those with boats in the ports, which are under substantial pressure with regard to space.

I propose that we bring the affected stakeholders in before the committee.

As a member of a different committee, I received a briefing on Dublin Port. It might be worth our while for the committee to go there before the meeting - it might take one and a half hours - to see the pressure that is there.

It would take longer.

It may take longer if we were to have a tour. I believe it is worth doing because the implications of Brexit for transport are a significant part of it also.

If we visit the port and then invite the people who are concerned to attend a committee meeting, would members find that reasonable? Is that agreed? Agreed.

No. 2019/448 is an email dated 8 April 2019 from Donall Ó Buadhucháin concerning bicycles on intercity trains. We will send it to Irish Rail.

No. 2019/451 is an email from Catriona McClean regarding detachable ramps from wheelchair accessible taxis. It is proposed to note that correspondence. The Minister is supposed to attend to discuss with us issues regarding disability and transport. He cancelled a couple of weeks ago but we will write to get him in to update the committee. Is that agreed? Agreed.

Nos. 2019/456 and 2019/458 concern an email from the office of the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport on future reappointments of two persons. It is proposed to schedule a meeting in that regard as soon as the committee permits. Is that agreed? Agreed. I note to the committee that I have to attend the Topical Issue debate in the Dáil.

What about No. 2019/457?

I apologise. It is an email from Tom McNeice from April about the FAI and the auditing firm. Does Deputy O'Keeffe wish to raise something? He is about to take the Chair.

The question is why the auditors only woke up when the media took hold of the issue. Should we write to the accountants?

Does the Deputy want that correspondence to be sent to the Companies Registration Office, CRO, or FAI? The problem regarding the CRO is that the matter is before the courts now.

I am talking about the FAI and the auditing firm. Why was it three years later when they decided to go to the corporate enforcement officers? That is the big question. Why is it only now that the accounting firm has decided to lodge a complaint?

I do not have a problem writing to them, but the matter is the subject of an investigation that could have a criminal outcome. It is also a matter which is before the High Court. It might be wiser to wait until that process has ceased. I point out that we are in public session.

I appreciate that. If the question is not resolved, I suggest we revisit it at a later date or even refer it to the Committee of Public Accounts.

That is no problem.

Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe took the Chair.