“Judge Moran has exposed the stress and frustration caused to athletes, their families and their friends by the OCI’s appointment of a ticketing agent that was nothing other than a charade and totally unfit for purpose…
…He [Justice Moran] was not in pursuit of criminality, merely a narrative of events, however unpalatable….
Nothing in this report suggests that individuals in the OCI were benefiting personally from these arrangements.
But clearly commercial interests can never again be afforded priority over the interests of athletes, their friends and families, and ordinary spectators.I regret that the OCI under the leadership of Pat Hickey defined this doctrine.”
Shane Ross at the Transport, Tourism and Sport joint committee meeting this morning.
From top: Shane Ross (right) and Pat Hickey flank Olympic sailor Annalise Murphy at Rio last Summer; from left: OCI President Sarah Keane, Executive Committee Member Lochlann Walsh and Honorary Treasurer Billy Kennedy
Buswells Hotel, Dublin 2
The Olympic Council of Ireland gives a media briefing on the Judge Moran Report into the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
The IOC, along with their ticket seller Pro 10 and former president Pat Hickey, declined to take part in the inquiry.
Pro10 was appointed after another reseller, THG, was rejected by the Rio organising committee.
THG was the authorised ticket reseller for the OCI at the Olympic Games at London in 2012 and Sochi in 2014; it was intended by Marcus Evans, who owned THG, and Mr Hickey that it would be the authorised ticket reseller again at Rio 2016.
However, in May 2015, the Rio Organising Committee for the Olympic Games rejected the application of THG for this position.
The Moran Report stated that Pro10 seemed to be little more than a cover for THG – and that Pro 10 was not fit for purpose.
“It might appear that the appointment of Pro10 was to disguise the continuing involvement of Marcus Evans and THG in the sale of tickets in Ireland for the Rio Olympics,” it said.
“The invocation of the “right against self-incrimination” by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), THG, Pro10, and Mr Hickey created a major obstacle.“
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.
Paul Williams broadcast a pre-recorded interview with the former former president of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) (above) after the OCI claimed the ticketing scandal, and Mr Hickey’s arrest, has cost the OCI €1.5million to date (top).
In the interview, Mr Hickey outlines what €763,000 of that €1.5million has been spent on, while he’s scathing of how the Minister for Sport Shane Ross and the Irish Government handled, or didn’t handle, his arrest.
In addition, Mr Hickey admits that he has tried to block the publication of the Government’s report into the controversy – by Justice Carroll Moran – which was given to Mr Ross on June 12. Mr Ross has given the report to the Attorney General and is awaiting his advice in regards to publishing it.
Mr Hickey said:
“I saw a draft of the report and my legal team have advised Judge Moran and the minister and the attorney general that this report should not be published until after the court case is heard in Rio. Because anything coming out of it could prejudice my fair trial but even worse still any media reports can also be used by the prosecutor in Brazil against me in the case.”
From the interview…
“I would like to, first of all, say to you Paul that I cannot go into the actual court case in Rio because the case is still in front of the courts so we’re forbidden to go into detail on that but I would be very happy to answer what you said there. The impression has been given that, in the media, that I was the cause of a spend of €1.5million by the OCI [Olympic Council of Ireland].
“Now I can categorically tell you that is not the case because I have been able to check figures and what I’m aware of is as follows, how that €1.5million is made up: the Olympic Council of Ireland got legal advice from Arthur Cox and Co solicitors, which cost them €400,000; they embarked on the Grant Thornton report which cost €214,000; they employed a technology company Espion which was nearly €40,000; they engaged with the Communications Clinic which was €80,000; and the report from Deloitte’s which was €18,000; and Wilson Hartnell, WHPR, €11,000. And that’s the bulk [€763,000] of that €1.5million.”
“Now I can tell you that my legal costs today in Brazil amount to €280,000 and there is an insurance policy in place, that I put in place, over 15 years ago. It’s called directors and officers’ liability and it’s particularly for the something like what happened to me.
“The cover on that policy is €1million, that’s the cap on it so my fees have been taken out of that €1million.
“And can I say, in addition to that, before I left Dublin on the plane for Rio, I left the OCI in a very clean state of health. There was €3million surplus in the bank and a property out in Howth that’s valued at €3million.
“Now I’d like to just emphasise that I am totally innocent of all these charges and I will be proven innocent and my legal team in Brazil are working flat out.”
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….
Over the past number of weeks, the Olympic Council of Ireland Rio Olympics ticketing issue has dominated the headlines and a number of serious allegations were made by a section of the Irish media suggesting involvement and wrong doing on my behalf. These allegations arose out of events in Brazil, in particular the issuing of a warrant against my passport by the Brazilian authorities.
As everyone should now be aware, this warrant was subsequently withdrawn, 10 days ago. In fact, the Brazilian police have never made any contact with me in relation to this issue.
When the issue of the warrant was first publicised in Brazil, certain media outlets took the opportunity to make the most serious and defamatory allegations against me.
My role as CEO of the FAI, it seemed, led to a significantly prominent positioning of this inaccurate and high profile reporting. These matters are now in the hands of my legal advisers and so I cannot comment further on them other than to confirm that I had no knowledge of or involvement in anything to do with tickets for the Rio games…..(more at link below)…
John Delaney, CEO of the Football Association of Ireland
Brazilian police investigating Pat Hickey in connection with an alleged ticket touting operation believe they have evidence that a similar scheme was in place at the London 2012 Olympics and there were plans to repeat it in Tokyo 2020.
Police have reviewed documents and emails seized during an operation at the Rio Games last month and have claimed that the full extent of the suspected scalping operation is wider than initially thought.
“The exchange of messages, spreadsheets and documents analysed has strengthened the investigation and showed that the scam was vast,” a police source said.