'You will be most welcome to Kerry': Healy Rae jumps to Delaney's defence

'You will be most welcome to Kerry': Healy Rae jumps to Delaney's defence

Kerry TD Michael Healy Rae has heaped praise on John Delaney, saying the only thing the former FAI CEO is guilty of is "trying to help an association in the best way" he saw fit.

Mr Delaney and other delegates from the FAI, are sitting before the Oireachtas Sport Committee this afternoon.

Mr Delaney was questioned on the circumstances of a €100,000 loan from him to the body in 2017.

The former CEO, who is now Executive Vice President of the FAI, said that beyond his statement to the committee, he was not in a position to answer any further questions, on legal advice.

Mr Healy-Rae, who is not a committee member, was allowed to speak and gave a glowing assessment of Mr Delaney.

'The mother of all welcomes'

"I'm going to finish with one quote. At the end of this month, Mr Delaney is to come to Castleisland AFC to open the new George O'Callaghan Park," said Mr Healy-Rae.

"45 years they wanted for this park to be there. And what I'm reliably told, that if it wasn't for John Delaney and the FAI, that park wouldn't be being opened at the end of this month.

"You will be most welcome to Kerry...You will get what I would call the mother of all welcomes when you come to Kerry because your reputation and your respectability will proceed you down the road before you land.

"And we will be there to welcome you.

"...If you're guilty of anything, you're guilty of trying to help an association in the best way you saw fit at that time."

Committee member Ruth Coppinger was critical of the comments saying she "had a bit of a problem" with Mr Healy-Rae making a statement and not asking a question.

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