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Deputy's apology Michael Healy-Rae 'profoundly sorry' for supporting former FAI boss John Delaney

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Deputy Michael Healy-Rae said he is sorry for his outspoken backing of former FAI boss John Delaney.

In April last year, the Independent TD said John Delaney would get the “mother of all welcomes” the next time he visited Kerry.

Mr Healy-Rae was speaking before an Oireachtas Committee which was questioning Delaney on the state of FAI funds and other matters.

The Kerry representative gave a speech on the day backing Mr Delaney and praising him for the work he had done in the Kingdom.

Then-TD Ruth Coppinger said of Deputy Healy-Rae’s speech: “I’m sure there are grants heading down Kerry way anyway.”

Deputy Healy-Rae told Radio Kerry today that he was unaware of the dire financial straits the FAI was in at the time and said he would not have backed him if he knew.

This comes after an RTÉ documentary was aired last night on the scandal surrounding the reign and subsequent departure of John Delaney as FAI CEO.

Mr Healy-Rae said: “The accountants that were working for the FAI at that time, they say that they didn’t know what was going on within the FAI hierarchy at that time. Saying the thing that I said - looking back now - was wrong.

“The reason I would have said it at the time was because I thought I was right. If anything that I said offended anybody, or insulted anybody I am profoundly sorry.”

Mr Delaney was chief executive of the FAI for over 14 years but resigned from his position in March 2019.

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