From top: Pat Hickey; Marian Finucane and Hickey family solicitor Anne Marie James.

Further to Joe Duffy’s grilling of a Rio police officer on Thursday’s Liveline on RTÉ Radio One…Solicitor Anne Marie James appeared on this morning’s Marian Finucane Show, also on RTÉ Radio One,  to elaborate on yesterday’s statement on behalf of Pat Hickey’s family.

Ms James, of Kirwan McKeown James, represents the family of the currently jailed Olympic Council of Ireland President.

Contains: unusual heart condition, a miracle baby and naked trolling.

Grab a large tay.

Marian Finucane: “I’m joined in the studio this morning by the woman who is essentially making all the headlines today, but not in her own name, but as the solicitor for the Hickey family, she’s Anne Marie James and you’re very welcome into the studio.”

Anne Marie James: “Thanks Marian.”

Finucane: “And I gather you’re afraid i’m going to eat the face off you, which I’m not.”

James: “Well it’s not my normal day job.”

Finucane: “I can get that, I understand that fully. Now you want to say you’re solicitor for the Hickey family, not Pat Hickey.”

James: “Yes, I don’t represent Mr Hickey.”

Finucane: “Right. And when you issue the statement yesterday can you go through how you, well you on behalf of your client, the main concerns and points that they want to get across.”

James: “The family are devastated, this is a most bizarre situation for them they are four children, five grandchildren, two other babies on the way, one of whom is a miracle baby.”

Finucane: “What do you mean a miracle baby?”

James: “Well, with great effort, we’re hoping that there’ll be another baby, the family are hoping there will be another baby, that is obviously just a bit a background to the stress they’re under at the moment.”

Finucane: “Yeah. What’s the age range of the family?”

James: “Approximately 40 down to 28. I know Fred, who is the eldest of the family and it was Fred who approached me and asked if I would help them to try to work out what they could do to help their father. While Mr Hickey’s wife was over there she said they shouldn’t get involved because the OCI had briefed lawyers she said it was a total misunderstanding and was going to be sorted out in a matter of a day or two, I think since she’s come home she’s realised how isolated she was from everything and the enormity of it when she got home, it was only then…”

Finucane: “And was it he who insisted she come home?”

James: “Yes, it absolutely was.”

Finucane: “And had she gone in to see him at that stage?”

James: “No, it takes 20 to 30 days to get in to see him and for that reason he insisted she went home, he was also afraid she would be arrested and the rest of the Irish contingent would be arrested so he asked them all to go home even though they were all asking to stay and support him.“My brief was to try and steer the family, what do you do in a situation like this, and while I’m a commercial lawyer, I have a very passionate interest in human rights and as I saw it playing out it disgusted me and more importantly I wanted to see what I could do to help them with their concerns which were mostly round his safety in a very chaotic political system, in a high security notorious prison, the conditions of which are pretty appalling, I think you can see from all the papers and the concern about his mental health given the manner in which he was arrested, the trawling of pictures of him in a state of undress across the world media, and how that’s feeding into his physical health. I think for any of us to be trawled in a state of undress against any paper, that would be devastating but this man is internationally known, this man is a very private man and family man in Ireland but a very public figure abroad and he is a member of the International Olympic Council of which I think there is only 150 members and you have to be invited to be asked so he is a well known and well got international figure despite the hatefest and the clear antipathy to him here.”

Finucane: “Why do you think there’s a hatefest, It struck me as kind of remarkable from the very beginning that normally you have hate figures sometimes there are bankers sometimes they are politicians sometimes they are whatever sometimes they are broadcasters you know but you normally get somebody that will make contact or write in or make a phonemail to say this guy is an absolutely terrific guy and that’s appalling, that didn’t happen for him and it didn’t happen for Kevin Mallon. It’s like silence.”

James: “It does seem to be very one-sided, there are pictures of him being shown with Vladimir Putin as if, that’s the description, he is involved with shady characters, he met people of all countries all the time but there was no picture of him shaking hands with schoolchildren as he handed out scholarships, there’s been a very one-sided, to my mind, hatefest and my concern is, I really am absolutely outraged at what I consider to be a flagrant breach of his fundamental human rights, he’s been denied a fair trial at this stage, I think that’s fair to say. I understand he’s been brought before a court yesterday in the hope of getting bail but to be treated and degraded and humiliated in the fashion that he has been and then for the drip feed of information to come from the Brazilian police, where they had the audacity in my view to use Liveline to try and explain things, and yet he’s gagged, he can’t say anything he’s in a prison cell, he hasn’t been charged with anything these are, as his lawyers described, these are accusations based on the flimsiest of assumptions.”

Finucane: “Anyway there is the fact that innocent until proven guilty.”

James: “Absolutely but I think that that has been abused and there is a presumption of innocence in the Constitution in Brazil and I think that the Brazilian police behaviour has been lawless because they’re completely disregarding their own Constitution, so we, the family, haven’t been in any contact with Pat…”

Finucane: “At all at all at all?”

James: “Well Sylvaine was prevented from seeing him and now we’ve established, we’ve appointed a firm of criminal lawyers in Ireland, Sheehan Dunphy and Partners, who will liaise with the lawyers in Rio and there was a conference call just the other evening where the family asked was it possible, if they could get messages of support to him and they have huge concerns about his mental state and the fact that he is missing all of them and they haven’t been able to be in any contact.”

Finucane: “So they’re going to try for letters?”

James: “Which will be approved by the prison authorities and passed on, just messages of support and showing their love for their father.”

Finucane: “When you say approved, do you mean they will be read?”

James: “I presume they would be, yes.”

Finucane: I suppose so.”

James: “I wouldn’t know the ins and outs of that but the drip feeding of information in a situation where he’s gagged and he has no opportunity to respond in my mind cannot guarantee a fair trial so we’ve asked the Minister Charlie Flanagan to meet with us we did meet with the Dept Foreign Affairs and there are consul on the ground but the only objection the Department of Foreign Affairs made to Brazil was the fact that they had filmed and released a film of his passport and the reason they did that is that that’s actually State property, but I think it’s quite bizarre that in making that objection they didn’t see fit to say and by the way we don’t fancy the idea of our Irish citizens being trawled naked across the world media…”

Finucane: “Well well, about the nakedness sure but there has been consular contact hasn’t there?”

James: “There have been two visits after I made a telephone call to Minister Flanagan and I understand he has now requested that the Ambassador would remain in Rio for the period and there is Consul, they’ve been twice to see him .”

Finucane: “And can they give any account to the family of how his health is?”

James: “They have done but most reports we were getting were via RTE but we’ve got some information from and there are two very lovely girls who are on the ground and who have been in contact but we now have heard that Mr Hickey has asked for mosquito repellant which would imply that he’s been exposed to mosquitos so malaria, the Zika virus, and obviously what other endemic diseases are in prison such as TB, people living in close quarters…”

Finucane: “The very odd thing I thought was an account that if you had a third level education you would get a cell to yourself, it seems bizarre.”

James: “That is the truth actually, Fred when he was asked for the medical certification was asked for his IAVI qualifications, he didn’t know why, what a perk of third level education, you get your own cell in Bangu prison in Rio.”

Finucane: “And do you know for sure Kevin Mallon is there?”

James: “He certainly wasn’t in same cell as Kevin Mallon for most of the time the press was reporting, I understand they may be together now, I think that there are reports today that a Supreme Court injunction has been issued and he might get out which is fantastic news because he’s been incarcerated for 3 weeks or more without charge but I’m really only here to speak on behalf of the Hickey family and try to say, I suppose, that they are a family, that this man is a father and a grandfather and he could be anyone’s father, it could be you or I that is in this situation, so I’m asking the Minister, I would like to meet with him.”

Finucane: “Hasn’t he agreed to meet with you?”

James: “He’s agreed, yes to meet with us on Wednesday. I think that, my concern is that his line might be that he’s not going to interfere in a judicial process and protocol etc and I totally accept that he cannot intervene in the judicial process of another country but that doesn’t mean that he can not make objections on behalf of an Irish person, they’re an elected representative, that’s they’re job to look after us and that’s why we elect them, who else but them.”

Finucane: “Well, Foreign Affairs, I think Have a good reputation all round the world for Irish citizens…”

James: “Yes I’d say that they do and I’m hopeful that the meeting on Wednesday will move us on a bit further I even think that, asking the ambassador to be there is, and the Irish ambassador, yes, to remain in Rio, and I think that that is a little bit, you know, a sign that we’re watching what’s going on and that they can’t just behave in, trial by media, incarcerating somebody while they gag him, humiliate him, isolate him and any prisoner.”

Finucane: “Right. You’re in contact now with the lawyers over there. And I don’t want to name names or anything like that at all but I’s alleged that he was told to put Shane back in his box, the Minister, but that seems an extraordinary attitude, doesn’t it?”

James: “Well I think it was something which came to him by way of an advisory letter which I think, maybe the wording is unfortunate, but in reality, I’m not sure that this is known and I only know this because of having been involved with the family and listening to the lawyers speaking with the Irish lawyers is that it hasn’t been put out that, when somebody’s asked if they’re going to have an internal investigation it’s pretty normal that there is no external person on that, you can have as many external investigations as you like and because there was pressure by Minister Ross to have somebody put on to, initially there was a refusal because that’s the way they do it, because of the seriousness of it I think Mr Hickey asked his next boss in the, I think it was the EOC, and there had been an agreement reached with Mr Ross after several hours of negotiation that they would appoint Ken Spratt, so that hasn’t come out, so it’s all you know smoke and mirrors that he’s been of no assistance and all that, but that’s for another time, that’s for an investigation which, you know he’ll have to come and answer and I don’t know how that can happen if he’s incarcerated in a prison in Rio.”

Finucane: “Yeah what are the prospects of, what is normal practice or do you know what is normal practice in Rio?”

James: “Well in terms of an investigation here I would have thought that he would have to be here or at least to be given access to whatever documentation he’s supposed to explain, I understand from this video conference we had with and again I’m not acting there is a firm acting for him with them but he has asked for documentation which he says will exonerate him, this was the lawyer in Brazil.

Finucane: “Pat Hickey was looking for documentation. From whom? From Ireland”

James: “From the OCI and I think from the solicitors they’ve now appointed, Arthur Cox. so I think that request is being made and formulated.

Finucane: And under the rules, do you think he will be facilitated in that action by the Rio authorities?”

James: “I don’t think the Rio authorities can stop the Rio lawyers from requesting documentation which I think will help his client and I have no doubt that the OCI and their lawyers will stop up to the plate and won’t find any protocol reasons why they can’t release that when a man’s detention is at stake, when he needs, he has to answer whatever charges are brought against him when they’re brought and that’s a matter for him to prove his innocence or not as the case may be but he should be given all documentation that he says will help…”

Finucane: “Exonerate him. Meanwhile the family are here at home.”

James: ““Yes they are.”

Finucane: “And I gather the main worry his his health?”

“his health yes and getting him a speedy trial that’s what he has requested.he as i see said that he wishes to remain there and has his name cleared I think that his reputation has been irreparably damaged, and that will hurt him you know, he’s worked a very long time to get where he is and I know that he’s not popular here but he seems to be popular internationally. I don’t know the man, I might have met him 4 times in his life but I know that he’s a very private and family man in Ireland, doesn’t live the high life in any way a very modest lifestyle, two daughters in law who are early stages of pregnancy and being monitored very closely and clearly the stress for them as a family as human beings, it’s awful and just the concern that their dad is locked up…”

Finucane: “He has an unusual heart condition.”

“He’s had electric shock treatment. My understanding is that there’s only so much electric shock treatment you can have and then that’s it there’s no further treatment you can have so i don’t know know how long that is but the deleterious effect of this on anyone’s heart cannot be underestimated especially for a man his age at 71 you know.”

Finucane: “I can only imagine that the family are up the walls, I mean anybody would be.”

James: “Yes they are, they are absolutely devastated, absolutely devastated and they know from him because he’s a private man, they know from him how terribly upsetting, one of the points that Fred, you know for him to have his head shaved, now as it turned out it didn’t happen .”

Finucane: “It didn’t happen?

James: “Now the reaction of Fred to that, he’ll just hate that, and then you know the pictures, well we didn’t know if he’d seen the pictures or not, that he would be trawled across the world media is just devastating for him.”


“But the reality is the main concern is his health and safety and the only way of safeguarding that is to get him back to Ireland so you know the speedier the trial..”

Finucane: “So they’re all…”

“They’re all, Fred’s son is to start school for the first time, they had a big thing planned where Granddad was to bring him down as well, it was going to be a big thing, he’s going to miss that…”

“You have to have the trial first don’t you.”

James: “Yeah, I think that would be great, to get the bail application in so that he’s back out

: “ And then he could get house arrest?”

“Yeah, I think they’ve offered that, I think the OCI have already rented an apartment to live in while he deals with the case so I think at that stage the family might be able to go over, he’s absolutely adamant they weren’t to at the moment so they’ve abided by his wishes as did Sylviane by coming home despite her clear desire not to leave her husband there, so…”

“Isn’t it heartbreaking in a way all the excitement and positivity and good cheer and excitement and that and then…”

James: “It is, you see the lads getting their medals and Annaliese Murphy and it’s fantastic for Ireland and I’m a very proud Irish woman.”

Finucane: “And for all who qualified. I mean it is an extraordinary ending for what was a very optimistic trip.”

“Yes absolutely.”

“Well thank you very much for coming in I know that a lot of people will understand that the family would be – any family would be – up the walls, anguished with this so that we will see what happens, it has to be said that the police behave in a different fashion to what they do here,, normally however you must remember poor Cliff Richard, the BBC filming his house being done and nothing against him and it’s all been cleared anyway, that’s a different jurisdiction, thank you very much indeed for coming in and for talking to us thank you.”

James: “Thank you.”

*kicks wireless*

Listen back here

Yesterday: ‘The Hickey Family Are Gravely Concerned’

Tursday: A Right Royal Dressing Gown


Earlier, with a Golden Discs voucher worth 25 gangsters (Euros) on offer, we asked YOU:

What is the finest use of a song in the fillums?

You answered in your dozens.

But there could be only one winner.

secured the voucher by choosing a mind-altering meld of music and movie:

The finest use of a song in a film is Kenny Roger’s & the First Edition’s ‘Just Dropped In’, as seen in the Coen Bros indie classic The Big Lebowski (1998). The scene in which it features (a drug-induced Busby Berkeley interlude that has no baring on the plot whatsoever) perfectly epitomises the plot itself: ultimately meaningless, but dammit if it wasn’t a great ride while it lasted (and that’s a good thing!). The Dude abides, etc…

Runners up:

Daisy Chainsaw: “The finest use of a song in a movie was “Storybook Love” Mark Knopfler/Willy DeVille from the ever glorious The Princess Bride (1987).”

Kevin Finnerty:
“The finest use of a song in a movie was the rendition of ‘Llorando’ by the singer at the Club Silencio in Mulholland Drive (2001) – the voice continues as the singer herself collapses on the stage.”

The-Bag: “For my money it’s the whole score for the documentary Dark Days (2000) by Unkle / Dj Shadow. Beautiful, haunting and ominous music that perfectly fit the stories and cinematography of the film. The stand out track is Lonely Soul, a strangely upbeat song in the context.”

Ivan: “It’d have to be something out of Goodfellas,(1994) wouldn’t it? I’m torn between the Layla scene or Gimme Shelter. I’ve tossed a coin. It’s Layla.”

Gary Byrne: “The finest use a song in a movie was Kavinsky – Nightcall from the movie Drive (2011)”

Me: “For me its Johnny B Goode in Back to the Future (1985). It’s a great song in a great film. I saw it when I was about 8 or 9 and that scene just blew me away. A school friend gave me a cassette copy of the soundtrack he’d taped off his big brother’s copy. I used to listen to The Power of Love a bit but is was Johnny B Goode I came back to again and again, rewinding it and catching the fade out of Earth Angel and then the anticipation for that riff. The scene in the film is still great to watch, the faces on the kids when Marty is finished soloing and writhing, and the song so good it was sent to space to represent some of the best of earth culture!

David: “The finest use of a song in a movie is George Thorogood & The Destroyer’ Bad to the Bone in the Kids’ movie Megamind (2010). The whole soundtrack is excellent.”

Youkilledmyfatherpreparetodie:“The finest use a song in a movie was the original version of “Lux Aeterna” in Requiem For A Dream (2000), in a time before its subsequent abuse by X Factor and the like.In the context of the movie it was the perfect nerve-shredding compliment to everything going to crap. I’m still a bit traumatised.”

Liam: “The finest use a song in a movie was We’ll Meet Again in Dr Strangelove (1964) ‘ because it’s a wonderful juxtaposition of terror and disaster with total optimism and the human spir…MEIN FUHRER! I can walk.”

TheDude:Incense and Peppermints by Strawberry Alarm Clock used in the great party scene in Russ Meyers’ Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls (1970). So good Mike Myers lifted it into Austin Powers (1997)”

Thanks all.

Earlier: The Golden Screen

Golden Discs


Pat Hickey (top) and his credentials (above(

Further to yesterday’s PR move against the Rio police.

I have been appointed on behalf of Pat Hickey’s family, to call on the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan TD and the Minister for Sport, Shane Ross TD, to urgently intervene in addressing the extremely worrying issues surrounding his arrest and detention.

This arrest and detention occurred over seven days ago and still no charges have been brought, nor has an appropriate venue for a bail application been made available to Pat Hickey.

The Hickey family are extremely concerned about:

– The manner in which Pat Hickey was arrested
– His detention in a high security prison without charge
– The effects of such detention on Pat Hickey’s health
– The pre-trial disclosure of what is purported to be evidence to the media without any right of a reply (which is leading and imbalanced reporting)
– Pat Hickey’s right to a fair hearing, given the prejudicial way in which he has been treated to date.

The family has requested an urgent meeting with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan TD and the Minister for Sport, Shane Ross TD and they have asked me to request that they would make contact with the Brazilian ambassador, Alfonso José Cardoso to make the family’s concerns known to him.

The Hickey family is gravely concerned about the effect this degrading and humiliating ordeal has had on their Father and Grandfather and how it continues to affect his physical and mental health.

He has a serious heart condition and they are extremely anxious that he would be immediately released on bail and given the opportunity to respond to the accusations.

They also, as a priority, want to get him home to Ireland as they have increasing concerns about his safety.

The family is also calling upon Minister Flanagan to immediately issue a statement setting out the steps the Department of Foreign Affairs is taking to object to the manner in which an elderly Irish citizen was arrested and is still being detained in Brazil.

It was entirely inappropriate and unacceptable for a 71-year-old Irish citizen be taken from his bedroom, arrested and walked in a state of undress before a pre-arranged camera crew, after which film and still shots were released to the global media.

The family hope to meet with An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD when he returns from holidays.

I am awaiting a reply.

Statement issued this afternoon by Anne Marie James, of Kirwan McKeown James Solicitors on behalf of Pat Hickey’s family.

Yesterday: A Right Royal Dressing Gown

Via Richard Chambers


The Guardian reports:

France’s highest administrative court has suspended a ban on the burkini in a test case brought by human rights groups, pending a definitive ruling.

The ruling from the state council suspends a single ban in the southern town of Villeneuve-Loubet, near Nice, but is likely to set a precedent for other towns that have prohibited the full-body swimwear on their beaches.

Under the French legal system, temporary decisions can be handed down before the court takes more time to prepare a judgment on the underlying legality of the case.

The bans – made in the form of mayoral decrees – followed the Bastille Day attack in Nice and the murder of a priest in Normandy.

They do not explicitly use the word burkini but instead ban “beachwear which ostentatiously displays religious affiliation”, citing reasons such as the need to protect public order, hygiene or French laws on secularism.

France’s highest court suspends burkini ban in test case (The Guardian)

Previously: A Limerick A Day