Monday 21 August 2017

Ross needs to probe quickly to get full facts

Shane Ross Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Shane Ross Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

The best way to react to a controversy is quickly and the easiest way to kill off rumour is with the truth.

And if you don't know the full facts immediately then the next best option is to reassure people that you're on your way to finding them.

Crisis management experts uniformly agree that when things go wrong for politicians their most obvious way of salvaging the situation is through good communications.

As a journalist and long-standing politician Shane Ross knows this better than most. However, he let a full 24-hour news cycle pass before addressing the issue of how Irish Olympic tickets ended up in the hands of touts.

When he did come out, the minister adopted what Fianna Fáil described as a "passenger" approach.

Mr Ross effectively told everybody to take a deep breath, wait and see.

There was none of his trademark 'bring in those f**kers' rhetoric.

He is the man who has robustly defended the Public Accounts Committee from criticism and refused to baulk in the face of what he might described as the 'politically correct' brigade.

He previously claimed the Fine Gael-Labour Party coalition had been "rattled" by the committee's "crusade for accountability".

Now we have a web of intrigue involving the Olympic Council of Ireland, a Dublin businessman, a UK company and a Rio De Janeiro bust overshadowing our athletes at the Games - and he expects us to let the Brazilians handle it.

Here's the twist. The noble taxpayer handed over a grant package in excess of €10m to support Irish participation at the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games this year, on top of the other day-to-day funding that the OCI gets through Sports Ireland.

So a few questions over ticket sales for the Games would seem well within the PAC's remit.

Irish Independent

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