Sport Ireland has referred an independent audit of the FAI's financial affairs to gardaí.

Northern Irish firm KOSI Corporation Ltd was appointed by Sport Ireland to conduct a full and extensive look at the FAI's accounts and to assess the association's "fitness to handle public funds".

The examination of the FAI's finances followed revelations earlier this year that former chief executive John Delaney had given a €100,000 loan to the association.

The KOSI report had been due to be delivered in early October, but was delayed following the resignation of Mr Delaney from the association, where he had been serving as executive vice president.

The auditors said at the time that they were seeking more material from the association.

In a statement, Minister Ross's department said: "The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD, has received the Final Report of the Independent Audit of the FAI, conducted by KOSI Corporation Ltd, on behalf of Sport Ireland.

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"The Minister said that Sport Ireland has today referred the report to An Garda Síochána.

"The Minister will not be a position to publish the report or make any comment on its findings at this time."

Tonight, the FAI said it would cooperate fully with any investigation by gardaí and insisted that "all Government money allocated to the FAI by Sport Ireland was spent appropriately".

Mr Delaney had agreed in April to voluntarily step aside as chief executive following the reports about the €100,000 loan.

Since then, a number of investigations have been launched into the financial affairs of the FAI, including the KOSI audit.

Among the concerns are that the former CEO failed to use his credit card properly, failed to control his personal expenses and made a series of payments from FAI funds that were not in the ordinary course of FAI business.

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Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Tourism, Transport and Sport Fergus O'Dowd met Minister Ross this afternoon in relation to the audit.

Mr Ross has sought legal advice and on that basis is not able to share details of the final report with the Oireachtas committee as to do so would place the documentation in the public domain.

In a letter to the Oireachtas committee tonight, Mr Ross confirmed that he was "advised" yesterday by Sports Ireland that it had "received the final report from the KOSI Corporation".

He said it was considered by a meeting of the Sport Ireland audit committee this morning and then later by the Sport Ireland board.

Minister Ross said subsequently the "Chief Executive of Sport Ireland furnished a copy of the Final Report to An Garda Síochána for their consideration and review".

In his letter, he added that the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement had also been notified. 

Minister Ross stated he had also written to gardaí "assuring them of the full cooperation of both myself and the officials of my department in any investigation arising into matters laid out in the final report".

He said he sought legal advice which "highlighted the importance of respect for natural justice in respect of all individuals referenced in the report".

On that basis, he said it would be "contrary to the principles of natural justice … to publish the report at this time" or to "share the final report with the committee at this time".

In a statement this evening, the FAI said its board noted the contents of Mr Ross's statement.

It added: "The Board has yet to receive the final report from Sport Ireland that was presented to the Minister.

"As previously stated, the FAI can confirm that all Government money allocated to the FAI by Sport Ireland was spent appropriately and as intended.

"The Board of the FAI and FAI staff are already co-operating fully with the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement in its enquiry into the FAI.

"The Football Association of Ireland will co-operate fully with any Garda Síochána investigation into FAI affairs on the back of the decision by the CEO of Sport Ireland to refer the report to An Garda Síochána."

Additional reporting Paul Cunningham and Tony O'Donoghue