Donal Conway re-elected as FAI President

Donal Conway has been re-elected as President of the Football Association of Ireland at its AGM in Co. Meath.

Donal Conway re-elected as FAI President

Donal Conway has been re-elected as President of the Football Association of Ireland at its AGM in Co. Meath.

Conway, who was running unopposed, received 134 out of a possible 140 votes.

Sports Minister Shane Ross asked him to stand aside, but he has refused to do so. Five delegates voted against him and one abstained.

Mr Conway told the AGM that he intends to step down after a year and in the meantime wishes to help the new board restore confidence in the association.

He said: "If in the meantime, there were circumstances where it was the right thing for the association that I would step away, I would not hesitate to do that.

"The immediate task next week would be for myself and senior staff to sit down with the new football members to start passing on the knowledge."

Vice president Noel Fitzroy, meanwhile, announced that he will not seek re-election to the position.

In an emotional speech, he said he was faced with no alternative but to withdraw from the process.

Noel Fitzroy.
Noel Fitzroy.

That left two candidates for the role - Paul Cook and Gerry McAnaney.

Mr Cooke of Waterford FC was ultimately elected to the role with 80 votes to Mr McAnaney's 57.

Ahead of the AGM Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Sport, Marc MacSharry, said today's meeting should have been deferred to allow governance issues be addressed first.

Mr MacSharry said: "We don't want to affect the delivery of programmes and staff are employed, so obviously whatever gets to that position as quickly as possible it would have been better to have deferred the AGM, for the Minister to work with Sport Ireland on a month-to-month basis to provide the money to the FAI pending an overall suite of reforms when we have all of the problems identified from the various reports that remain outstanding."

Last weekend, the FAI held an extraordinary general meeting, after governance and financial issues arose earlier this year.

It agreed to make changes to its constitution, after recommendations from the Governance Review Group, and Mr Conway said today the organisation wants to honour the recommendations.

They include changes to the board structure - it will now include 12 people, including four independent members, six nominated directors and at least four females.

No accounts will be presented at today's AGM in Trim because of ongoing issues.

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