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.
You may recall how it was announced, on August 24th, that retired judge Mr Justice Carroll Moran would lead an inquiry into the reselling of tickets for the Rio Olympics that were originally part of the Olympic Council of Ireland’s allocation of tickets.
It was also said a report on the matter would be presented to the Minister for Sport Shane Ross within 12 weeks of the inquiry’s commencement.
Further to this…
The Moran Inquiry invites submissions from members of the public concerning their experience in applying for tickets at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
This Inquiry has been established by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport and the Minister for State with responsibility for Tourism and Sport to investigate the distribution and sale of tickets at these Olympic Games.
Persons wishing to make a written submission should do so on or before the 30th November 2016 by post or electronically to the addresses set out below.
Any such submissions should be accompanied by all emails, correspondence and other relevant documents. The text of the Terms of Reference of the Moran Inquiry can be found here
The postal address is: Moran Inquiry c/o The Property Registration Authority, The Four Courts, Dublin 7. D07 T652.The email address is email@example.com
Emails (above) from Pat Hickey (top left), who has stepped aside of his role as president of Olympic Council of Ireland, to president of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach (above right)
Brazil’s Globo News has obtained a copy of an email in which Hickey gives Thomas Bach a comparison of the ticket allocations received by the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) for the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games. Hickey states that the OCI received 84 tickets for the opening ceremony in London but only 38 for Rio.
He also delivers a “wishlist” to Bach demanding 980 extra tickets, including a further 150 for the opening ceremony, an extra 200 tickets for the men’s 100m final and 500 more tickets for the men’s football final.
“We found enough evidence linking Hickey to this plot to sell tickets by a company that was not authorised,” prosecutor Marcos Kac told the Associated Press. “These are tickets that were sold for up to $8,000 [about £6,000].”
…Police have said that he plotted with businessmen to transfer tickets illegally from Pro 10, a sports company, to hospitality provider THG Sports, which was a non-authorised vendor and allegedly sold them for high fees. Police investigators said that the scheme was planned to bring in $3 million.
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.///
From top: Intercom outside the offices of Pro 10 Sports Management in a building it shares with other companies on Main Street in Lucan, Dublin; Eamon Dunphy
Broadcaster Eamon Dunphy, Daniel McConnell, political editor of The Irish Examiner, and Catherine O’Halloran, political correspondent of the Irish Daily Star, spoke to Keelin Shanley during the Today with Sean O’Rourke’s Gathering slot.
During their discussion, they talked about the Rio tickets investigation.
Further to reports this week that Pro 10, which was formed in May of last year, was the only company to apply for the Olympic Council of Ireland contract for selling Rio Olympic tickets, and received it five months later…
And that the Brazilian authorities have issued arrest warrants for Pro 10’s three directors Michael Glynn, Eamonn Collins and Ken Murray…
And that the OCI has received €1.7million in public funds in the past four years…
Eamon Dunphy: “I think journalism here has a question to answer, Daniel: Why wasn’t Pro 10, for example, this shadow, apparently, the shadow company – whose directors are football agents, why weren’t they investigated by Irish journalists?”
Daniel McConnell: “Eamon, I’m a political reporter, so..”
Dunphy: “No, but…”
McConnell: “…When this, when this story broke… but I would agree with you. One question I think has to be answered is: How did they get the licence?”
Dunphy: “Yes. Did they get the licence before, did they get the licence from the Olympic Council of Ireland before the company was incorporated?”
Keelin Shanley: “And was there an open tender process?…there’s a lot in that..”