FAI independent chairperson Roy Barrett has told Fianna Fáil's Marc MacSharry to "check his facts" in response to remarks made by the TD in the Dáil on Thursday. 

MacSharry has previously aired concerns over the planned 50-50 split between independent directors and football directors on the reshaped FAI Board.

He voiced those worries again today and also questioned Barrett's authority to sign the Memorandum of Understanding, which was drawn up as part of the rescue package that was agreed in January and signed by the then Minister for Sport Shane Ross and Barrett on behalf of the FAI Board.

That memo of understanding saw changes to some of the terms of the governance reforms voted on by FAI delegates last June, including an increase in the number of independent directors from four to six and a clause that FAI council members who have served for 10 years should step down this year.

On Thursday night, Barrett issued a lengthy personal statement in response to MacSharry's comments. 

"As Chairperson of the Board of the Football Association of Ireland, I note the comments made in Dáil Éireann today by Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry," it read.

"I find it objectionable that a Deputy would use Dáil privilege to make a statement like that without fear of reproach.

"I would also like to inform Deputy MacSharry of the facts surrounding the vote taken on March 16th last by Council on a Proposed Resolution. The ballot paper presented to Council members read as follows: 
PROPOSED RESOLUTION: That pursuant to Article 3.8 of the Association's Articles of Association, that the Association and the Board of Management be and is hereby authorised by the Council to (a) enter into the Amended Facility Agreement and any related documents, to borrow in excess of €1,270,000 under the Amended Facility Agreement to refinance certain existing obligations owing to BOI and to fund certain other general corporate working capital and other obligations of the Association,(b) to incur the other borrowings contemplated by the Transaction to fund general working capital and other requirements of the Association and (c) to have sole power and authority to decide and agree the terms of the Amended Facility Agreement and any other agreements required to give effect to the Transaction and any related documents, and the terms of such borrowings. 

"On March 16th, the Council of the FAI, in a vote taken by email and observed by an independent third party, voted in favour of this resolution - 60 members of the 79-strong Council voted in favour of the proposed resolution, with no votes against.

"As the Deputy can see here, point (b) of the proposed resolution asked members to permit the Association and the Board of Management to: ‘Incur the other borrowings contemplated by the Transaction to fund general working capital and other requirements of the Association’. 

"The proposal, as accepted by Council on March 16th, gave the FAI full authority to pursue funding arrangements agreed with Government and the Association’s banking partner. No funds were drawn down from any of the parties involved before that Council vote. 

"It is respectfully suggested that Deputy MacSharry checks his facts before he next decides to use Dáil privilege.

"As Chairperson of the Board of the FAI, I remain committed to the roadmap for the reform of the Association, the continued viability of the FAI, to improving the working environment for all our employees, to provide the support required by all of those engaged in the game of football at all levels across the country and to all those supporters who just want to make our game better."