The chairperson of the Oireachtas Transport, Tourism and Sport Committee has called for Leinster House committees to be given more powers and capabilities.

Fergus O'Dowd believes the prospect of holding another referendum on broadening the power of Oireachtas enquiries needs to be looked at.

He was speaking at the end of today's committee hearing where representatives of Sport Ireland faced questions about the governance crisis in the Football Association of Ireland.

Mr O’Dowd said that today's meeting showed that in a democracy the committee system does work and it worked particularly well today because Sport Ireland is accountable to the committee.

But he added: "It didn't work last week. Even though the outcome was very negative for the people who refused to give witness, refused to talk, refused to answer the questions they were asked."

Mr O’Dowd said there needs to be reform of the way the Oireachtas Committee system operates and he raised the prospect of a fresh referendum on broadening powers of TDs to hold investigations.

In a 2011 referendum, voters were asked to give the Oireachtas increased powers of investigation, but 53% said no.

Today Mr O'Dowd said: "The ultimate issue for me here is that we need to reform the committee system. We need to have more powers, we need to look at possibility having another referendum.

"The powers and capacities of us as committees to compel witnesses to come in or to compel them to answer questions has to be changed.

"I think that is what the public want. But we must frame that in a way that gives fair play to all of those witnesses whoever they might be, and give them due process."