It was in Helsinki in April 2017 where John Delaney ascended to the rank of Executive Committee member of UEFA.

We were there to cover the event for RTÉ News, a not insignificant election in a European context.

With the late withdrawal of two candidates 11 men were vying for the eight vacancies and John Delaney became only the second Irishman, after Des Casey, to have a seat at the top table of football’s governing body.

Delaney received 48 votes, the second highest of all the candidates and made it to the inner sanctum ahead of heavy hitters like Italy, Poland, Germany and England, who followed him into the chamber.

Back home, meanwhile, the stand off between the Republic of Ireland senior women’s squad and their own association continued.

At a team meeting the players decided they would not attend that day’s scheduled training session.

We wanted to interview the FAI Chief Executive In Helsinki but that interview was in doubt because, we were told, he wasn’t going to answer any questions about the Women’s 'strike’ back home.

Members of the Republic of Ireland women's national team address the media in Liberty Hall

We said we would not do any interview if we couldn’t ask about the burning issue of the day.

After much negotiation through an intermediary it was agreed that Delaney would take one question only about the dispute that was shining a dull light on the FAI and making headlines around the world.

The emotive image, in the 21st century, of senior internationals changing in airport toilets before handing back their tracksuits painted a picture of how badly treated the women were by what was being portrayed as a cash-strapped and penny-pinching association.

It was also in April 2017, we learnt recently, that Delaney loaned the FAI the sum of €100,000 - a short term ‘bridging loan' to cover a cash flow issue.

Back in Helsinki, with financial results exceeding expectations, Uefa's president Aleksander Ceferin announced a €1 million windfall to each of the 55 associations.

Ceferin reminded us that "UEFA believes that the participation of boys - and especially girls, is the key to a successful future...it's a long term investment that we cannot do without".

Minister for Sport Shane Ross said at the time of Delaney’s election to the UEFA Executive that it was " a hugely positive development for Irish sport and for football which will now have a significant voice at the decision making end of the European game".

He has been rather quiet on more recent events concerning the Football Association of Ireland. However he did ask Sport Ireland to seek "urgent clarification" from the FAI about the circumstances surrounding the loan from their own Chief Executive.

The €100,000 loan and the attempt by John Delaney to take out an injunction to prevent the Sunday Times and their journalist Mark Tighe from publishing the story has created a controversy around the FAI and their board that continues to grow.

Delaney watches on as Mick McCarthy's team beat Gibraltar 1-0

The night of the Euro 2020 Qualifier in Gibraltar, instead of analysing Mick McCarthy’s first game in his second stint as Ireland manager, we instead heard for the first time that the board of the FAI had adopted unanimously a review of its management structures undertaken by Jonathan Hall Associates -  a sports governance expert with previous links to the FAI.

The report recommended a new role of Executive Vice President which John Delaney was to take on immediately. A statement thanked him for having transformed the association and said that the FAI would benefit from his extensive football experience and contacts across Europe and the rest of the world.

Rea Walshe became the new interim CEO and the recruitment process was to begin straight away with interviews expected in late April.

We learnt that Delaney’s new role comes with a "substantially reduced" remuneration of approximately a third of his €360,000 CEO salary. His UEFA stipend is said to be €100,000 per annum with an allowance of €300 per day dedicated to UEFA business.

Sport Ireland never did get the "urgent clarification" they were looking for and are still wondering why they weren’t notified of the deterioration of the FAI finances that required a "bridging loan".

The terms and conditions of grant approval signed by the FAI President and their CEO includes a requirement to notify Sport Ireland, in writing, without delay, of any material deterioration in their financial position.

We learnt at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Wednesday last that the FAI has been audited by Sport Ireland’s independent auditors more than any other sporting organisation and that they have provided the "highest level of assurance" that all funding is fully accounted for.

However a letter from the President of the FAI to John Treacy the CEO of Sport Ireland did not sufficiently explain the circumstances of the loan and its repayment nor fully address the matter of compliance.

Crucially John Treacy failed to express confidence in the FAI Board under cross examination by Imelda Munster, the Sinn Fein spokesperson on Sport.

There is an issue around transparency and the administration of football in this country, according to Treacy.

Sport Ireland has asked for the terms of reference of the latest review commissioned by the FAI into their own affairs which is to be undertaken by international auditing and consulting firm Mazars.

This review, according to the FAI "acknowledges the concerns expressed by members of the football family, supporters, commentators, politicians and the public around recent media stories concerning the Association".

Sport Ireland has given the FAI one more chance to respond to their queries by close of business on Monday.

The main event this week though is likely to be the appearance by the FAI in front of the same members of the Oireachtas Committee.

Chairman Fergus O’Dowd confirmed after last Wednesday’s five-hour session that they had specifically requested that elected officials of the FAI appear before it along with Delaney.

President Donal Conway, treasurer Eddie Murray and Paraic Treanor - who sits on the Legal and Corporate Affairs Committee - are expected, along with executive staff members. 

The all-party committee got their act together and used their time with Sport Ireland last week to good effect. There was less grandstanding than might have been expected and the deputies were focused and armed with a knowledge of events surrounding the culture of the FAI in recent years.

The first leg of a double header begins at 9am Wednesday, with more time scheduled for an afternoon session in Committee Room 4 of Leinster House.

We may finally get some answers to questions that have been asked of Irish football since that fateful month of April 2017.