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Former OCI President Pat Hickey is awaiting trial on charges of ticket touting, forming a criminal association/cartel and illicit marketing
Top from left: Member of the OCI executive committee Lochlann Walsh, Honorary General Secretary Sarah O’ Shea, OCI President Sarah Keane and Chair of the OCI athletic committee Shane O’Connor.
The Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) remain at loggerheads with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ahead of an EGM this evening, with former OCI President Pat Hickey set to remain on their board.
In September, Hickey resigned from his position on the executive board of the IOC, having ‘self-suspended’ himself while facing charges related to alleged ticket touting at the Rio Games in 2016.
Hickey, 72, stayed on as an ordinary IOC member though, and the world body have insisted Hickey be subject to no term limit. That entitles him to remain as a member of the OCI board, a rule that’s proved to be a bone of contention.
Readers may recall the arrest of the former president of the Olympic Council of Ireland Pat Hickey during the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on August 17 last year.
He was subsequently charged in connection with an alleged ticket touting scheme and spent 12 nights in Bangu prison. Following that, he spent several months in Brazil before he was able to return to Ireland in December.
He now awaits a court date in Brazil.
About a week after Mr Hickey’s arrest, the Government appointed retired judge Mr Justice Carroll Moran to conduct an inquiry into the Olympics ticketing controversy.
It’s being reported that the results of this inquiry will be published within matter of days.
Further to this…
At the weekend, John Drennan and Valerie Shanley, in the Irish Mail on Sunday, reported:
“Transport Minister Shane Ross has warned colleagues to ‘brace themselves’ for the ‘explosive’ report into the Rio ticketing scandal which is expected to be published in the coming days.”
“…The Rio report is being treated with such sensitivity that the Cabinet has still not seen its contents. A spokesman for the Department of Sport refused to comment on the specific day it will be published.
“…one senior source, close to the Cabinet, told the Mail on Sunday: ‘Ross was utterly jittery. He informed the Cabinet that the report’s contents would be explosive. He warned it would be a case of “brace yourselves”.’
Further to this…
And Mr Hickey telling Paul Williams in an exclusive interview with Newstalk that he “will be proven innocent” in June…
In today’s Irish Independent…
Kevin Doyle reports on Judge Carroll Moran’s inquiry:
“The judge concludes that their [Pat Hickey, the International Olympic Committee and the Rio Organising Committee] failure to take part [in the inquiry] have weakened his ability to prescribe a definitive explanation for the drama.
Instead, he has produced a narrative that branches into criticism of Mr Hickey’s governance of the OCI and an annual honorarium of €60,000.
The judge suggests Mr Hickey ran the OCI as his own little fiefdom, personally using his role as president to oversee arrangements with companies like THG and PRO10 who were at the centre of the ticketing scandal.
The inquiry also had access to the OCI’s financial accounts but failed to find any significant irregularities. There was no evidence to suggest a ‘money trail’ linked to a ticket touting ring.
In effect, the report hammers Mr Hickey reputation but doesn’t find a smoking gun.
The judge has not uncovered any evidence of the criminality that is alleged by the Brazilian authorities.
Former Olympic Council of Ireland President Pat Hickey
A spokesperson for the Olympic Council of Ireland has said it will not be paying the €410,000 bond which Pat Hickey is required to pay as a condition of having his passport returned and being allowed to leave Brazil on medical grounds.
The OCI says it is a personal matter for Mr Hickey….
The passports of three members of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) [Dermot Henihan, Kevin Kilty and Stephen Martin] have been seized following the search of a hotel in Brazil in relation to the Rio ticketing controversy.
No arrests were made during the search.
“Early this morning in Rio, Brazilian police arrived at the OCI offices in the Olympic village and at OCI accommodation outside of the village,” said the OCI in a statement.
Civil Police removed mobile phones and Olympics tickets from the hotel rooms of members of the OCI.
The passports of three Irish citizens were also confiscated by police officers, as part of their ongoing investigation.
“The OCI personnel were asked to present for questioning at a local police station on Tuesday (23 August) next. They agreed to do so,” said the OCI.
“The OCI had an allocation of unused official tickets in their offices which had been made available for athletes’ families and friends. The police also took possession of these tickets,” added the OCI.
Also as part of the court order dated yesterday, RTÉ News understands that the Brazilian police are seeking to acquire the passports of three other individuals connected to the OCI.
…Those three people named on court documents are acting president Willie O’Brien, executive member of the OCI and chief executive of the FAI John Delaney and personal assistant to the president Linda O’Reilly.///