The Chairman of the Centre for Public Inquiry, Mr Justice Fergus Flood, has said the board will meet in the near future to discuss the decision by Atlantic Philanthropies to withdraw funding for the Centre.

Mr Justice Flood said a time or date for the meeting had not yet been arranged.

Yesterday, Atlantic Philanthropies, founded by Irish-American billionaire Chuck Feeney, announced it was ceasing funding for the Centre for Public Inquiry following a number of meetings with the centre.

Mr Feeney's charitable foundation had originally committed itself earlier this year to providing a total of €4m to the centre over a period of five years.

The decision to cease funding came following concerns raised by the Irish Government about the centre.

The Justice Minister, Michael McDowell, stated in a written reply to a parliamentary question that he had information that the centre's director, former journalist Frank Connolly, had travelled to Colombia in 2001 on a false passport in the company of a known member of the IRA.

Mr Connolly has denied the allegations, and told RTÉ News yesterday that he had never been to Colombia.

He also said he was the victim of a witch-hunt.