Tuesday 25 April 2017

Hickey family defends injunction blocking OCI ticket inquiry

Former OCI chief Pat Hickey. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Former OCI chief Pat Hickey. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

The family of former Olympic Council of Ireland boss Pat Hickey have said an inquiry set up by the body into the Rio ticketing scandal would have provided a “worthless” report.

Mr Hickey has successfully managed to stop auditors Grant Thornton carrying out a review of the OCI’s ticketing procedures following the threat of a court injunction.

The 71-year-old, who is on bail in Brazil for alleged ticket touting, has claimed that the inquiry could impinge on his constitutional entitlement, the principle of fair procedures and the right to a fair trial.

In a statement last night, his family welcomed the decision of the OCI board to suspend the inquiry, noting that at least eight institutions or persons considered potential contributions to the process had said they did not want to participate while legal proceedings are ongoing in Rio.

They said a “multitude of lawyers” had warned the inquiry was inappropriate while Mr Hickey is  before the Brazilian courts.

They added that Mr Hickey does support the judicial inquiry set up under Mr Justice Carroll Moran.

The statement added that it is the family’s “solemn wish that our Dad and grandfather is allowed back to Ireland to receive urgent medical treatment for his heart condition.”

Despite the stalling of the Grant Thornton report, Sports Minister Patrick O’Donovan told the Irish Independent he still expects all parties to co-operate with the State inquiry.

“We received firm commitments at the time that we set it up that everybody would cooperate. I see no reason that wouldn’t continue,” the minister said.

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