FINGAL County Council is to be asked to debate its relationship with the football club Sporting Fingal following a heated exchange over funding.
Concerns have grown over the council's role in supporting the club, of which it owns a 26% share, although council officials have strongly denied that it is funding the club.
County manager David O'Connor said he "took grave exception" to suggestions he had given misleading information in relation to questions about the council's financial involvement with Sporting Fingal.
A motion has now been tabled for January's council meeting, requesting further discussion on the subject.
The majority stakeholder in Sporting Fingal is Gerry Gannon, whose Gannon Homes and K Club companies have not escaped the financial impact of the recession.
It is also sponsored by Anglo Irish Bank which, although nationalised, refused to comment on what financial relationship it has with the club when contacted by the Sunday Tribune.
During a meeting of Fingal County Council this month, councillors heard of a public perception that the local authority played a role in funding the football team's operations.
Despite efforts to contact the club, no one was available for comment.
Sporting Fingal has enjoyed considerable success since its foundation two years ago – in particular by capturing the Ford FAI Cup this season.
Fingal County Council, which helped establish the club with the assistance of private backing, said it had put no money into running it and never would, and said it was simply involved for the benefit of the community.
However, Cllr Clare Daly, who said there were many other sporting organisations in Fingal who believed they had not received the same level of attention, asked a number of questions relating to finances.
"I think people have some very genuine questions. If the council isn't giving the money and if the council has not given any staff resources, well what are we giving for our 26% of the shareholding?" she said at the last council meeting.
"Clearly when [a soccer club is] starting off and experimenting and developing a base, [it cannot be] funded by its fan base or by ticket receipts.
"When names like Gerry Gannon and Anglo Irish Bank [invest in the club] a lot of other sports organisations are being asked what's being invested in them.
"I have to say I don't really accept the answers to the questions, that we don't put in any money and we don't put in any staff. That is not what I have seen. I think we have put huge resources into this, and we should say that because we have."
The county manager replied that no money was put into the club except for €7,000 to fund transport for local clubs and poster printing. He said that any staff working at the club did so as volunteers.
A debate on theissue has been tabled for January's meeting.