— Electric Picnic (@EPfestival) September 13, 2017
Yesterday’s Irish Mail on Sunday
Today’s Irish Independent
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.
Previously: “I Will Be Proven Innocent”
Glass Dublin writes:
Hey Irish Rail “Do you want your receipt?” option or old school bin close by would avoid this mess at every DART station
Thanks for the feedback, we are looking to implement the receipt option as you suggest, what station was this as there are bins in most
— Iarnród Éireann (@IrishRail) June 20, 2017
All Blacks perform the haka before their defeat against Ireland in Chicago earlier this month
My lovely father is giving up his two tickets for this Saturday’s Ireland V New Zealand match, as he’s aware of the demand and sees the opportunity to raise some money for my Mum’s chosen charity – the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre.
So – I’ve two great tickets on offer. East Stand, Premium Level on the 22.
The latest bid is €500 total – but the more we can raise for the DRCC the better! If someone out there would like to make a better offer, drop a line to email@example.com. Bidding closes 4pm Thursday.
Tickets for the Rio Olympic Games
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
H/T: Gavan Reilly
From top: Sonia O’Sullivan at the Atlanta Games 1996; Fr Liam Kelleher at the closing ceremony of the Rio Olympics
Readers may recall the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.
It was the year Cork athlete Sonia O’Sullivan was forced to strip naked in front of other athletes in order to change her running gear – from Reebok to Asics – in the tunnel next to the track just before her 5,000m heat.
It happened amid a row between the Olympic Council of Ireland, who had a reported £75,000 deal with Reebok, and the then national athletics organisation Bord Lúthchleas na hÉireann (BLE), who had a contract with Asics.
It was reported at the time that Pat Hickey, of the OCI, personally told Sonia she could wear her gear from Reebok – with whom she had a sponsorship deal – even though BLE had registered the Asics strip as the official Irish team strip three days before the competition began.
Following the incident, Mr Hickey held a press conference on the issue – which was attended by Ms O’Sullivan.
Further to this, Cork priest and long-time athletics coach, Fr Liam Kelleher, who was national PRO for BLE at the time, writes:
Pat Hickey has done some fantastic work which cannot be denied but his obsession for power has finally been his undoing.
I have known him since 1972, from my first Olympic Games in Munich all of 44 years ago, and I was not happy with the antics that happened in Atlanta in 1996 during the “Sonia saga” which again was well documented at the time.
I was Press Officer for the then Irish athletic organisation BLE and was totally embarrassed by what transpired.
I saw Sonia dragged to the press conferences after the gear-changing, controversy which must have adversely affected her performance, and remember being acutely sorry for her having to try to give answers to the assembled media.
What really transpired we will probably never know.
I was hugely upset too, and when I returned to Ireland, I resigned my position as National Press Officer of BLE.
I went on national radio on the News at One, then with Seán O’Rourke to explain my reasons. My great friend Frank Greally [of Irish Runner magazine] covered the issue with five pages on Irish Runner with title “Pastor departs”. It was written by Sean McGoldrick whom I actually met at the stadium in Rio last week.
At that time, in 1996, I issued a broadside against the Olympic Council of Ireland which made banner headlines in the papers and for which I was castigated, in many parts, for being way off the mark.
But, I got huge support from people in the know.
One thing I said and wrote was: “The Olympic Council of Ireland are democratically elected by nobody, are answerable to nobody and dictate to everybody.”
So, you can see, the warning signs were there 20 years ago, if they were heeded.
My outburst came at a cost. Four years later, at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, there was no way I could get a press pass – which had to be signed by the President of the OCI [Pat Hickey] – to cover the events for Marathon Athletics Magazine which I had been publishing since 1984.
In Sydney, I tried every day for six days in a row with the help of Frank Greally from Irish Runner and John O’Sullivan [Sonia’s father] but no joy.
Tickets were impossible to get so I was resigned to watching it on TV. Two hours before Sonia was due to run, I was with Frank Greally when Pat Hickey passed by.
Frank said,’Now is your last chance, bury your pride and go and ask him’, but I turned down Frank’s plea. We went again to the press accreditation centre put a bundle of magazines on the table and, to her eternal credit, the lady at the desk who at this stage must have been fed-up with me, decided to ring the communication chief and he gave the OK.
To my knowledge, it was the only accreditation given out without the signature of the President.
If I were asked now about the Olympic Council, I would have mixed views.The obvious one has to be transparency, and too much power must never again be the domain of any individual.
What do I think of Pat Hickey now?
I genuinely feel sorry for him as I stated at the outset he did a fantastic amount of work, he moved in high places with people like Russian President Putin numbered as one of his allies and goodness knows how many more, who can do little to help him now.
He is obviously suffering huge trauma and distress and if we want to put it in terms of punishment perhaps this is enough and let him go free. He has paid a huge price already.
Previously: Calling It
The United States Olympic Committee’s ticketing policy
Tweet from Olive Loughnane, Irish race walker who competed at the games of 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012.
Via Paul Reynolds
From top: Independent Alliance Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross with Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O Donovan outside the Department of Transport this afternoon; Retired Justice Carroll Moran
Retired High Court Judge Carroll Moran has been appointed to chair the inquiry into the OCI’s allocation of Olympic tickets going back to the 2012 Games.
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..”
Listen back in full here
Previously: Calling It