A High Court action by Limerick FC against the FAI over what the soccer club claimed was its exclusion from participating in the League of Ireland has been settled.
The case was formally struck out by Mr Justice Leoine Reynolds today after the judge was informed by Frank Callinan SC for Limerick that the parties had resolved their dispute, and the proceedings could be struck out.
The settlement came after the FAI issued a statement last Friday that Limerick FC can apply for a licence to compete in the SSE Airtricity League First Division and the underage leagues for the 2020 season.
The club brought proceedings against the FAI over the association’s alleged failure to invite Limerick FC to submit an application for a licence to allow it to play in the League of Ireland First Division during the 2020 season.
Limerick FC, which late last year was the subject of a failed examinership process, claimed the FAI is bound under its own rules to invite the club to submit an application.
Limerick FC claimed the FAI refused to do so, which had the effect of excluding it from playing this season’s First Division.
In addition, it claims the FAI allowed the Shamrock Rovers B team to enter a team in the First Division, which the other clubs in the division are all opposed to.
It claimed the decision to allow Shamrock Rovers B take part was wrongful because it was taken by the FAI’s board and National League Executive Committee and not by the FAI Club Licensing Bodies.
The court heard the FAI, in correspondence with the club, never said that it was unwilling to allow Limerick FC to apply for a licence.
As a result Munster Football Club Limited, trading as Limerick Football Club, sought various orders against the FAI.
The orders included an injunction requiring the FAI to take all necessary steps to permit Limerick FC to submit an application for a licence allowing it play in the 2020 League of Ireland First Division.
The case was adjourned to allow talks between the parties aimed at resolving the dispute. Those discussions came to a successful conclusion last Friday.
Today, Ms Justice Reynolds welcomed news of the settlement, which the court heard is confidential.
The court heard the the FAI was consenting to the settlement.
Outside of court, Limerick FC chairman Mr Pat O’Sullivan said he was pleased at the outcome. âThe last few weeks and months have been extremely difficult for me and I am glad to be back in a position to concentrate on Limerick FC away from the courts,â he said.
After thanking his legal team he added that he had “many concerns regarding how our club has been treated since mid-2018..â
He said he was taking advice as to what options are available to the club.
Finally, with regards to the Limerick FC academy, a new group has been created calling themselves Limerick United.
He said that Limerick FC made an offer of cooperation to them and ânotwithstanding same we still have not heard from them.â
He added: âI sincerely hope for a positive response to our offer of cooperation. There is a significant investment available around a Senior Soccer team in Limerick with an underage structure.”
To me there is no sense in any other long-term sustainable football project in Limerick other than the two parties combining their resources for the benefit of playersâ development especially, our sport and our communities.”
He said, if necessary, he was willing to take on an honorary role.
âIt is difficult to see why Limerick United will not join with Limerick FC for the future of Limerick soccer. As previously discussed I am willing to allow the Limerick United coaching staff to remain in situ subject to FAI requirements,” Mr O’Sullivan concluded.