Sunday 4 December 2016

OCI executive waiting on passport to be returned after being told he is free to go

Cathal McMahon

Published 24/08/2016 | 20:49

Dermot Henihan, OCI secretary general, in Rio
Dermot Henihan, OCI secretary general, in Rio

An Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) executive who was told he was free to go after his passport was seized by police at the Rio Olympics is still stuck in Brazil and doesn't know when he will get home.

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Honorary OCI General Secretary Dermot Henihan was catapulted into the centre of an alleged ticketing scam at the weekend when police in the city police seized his passport, phone and computer.

He met with officers on Tuesday who later confirmed that he did not play a role in any alleged ticket scam.

Speaking to the Limerick Leader Mr Henihan said he had still not received his passport. and was waiting for a call to retrieve this.

When asked if he knew when he would be returning home from Rio, he said: “No, I don’t. I wish I did, but I don’t.”

Mr Henihan, who is from Limerick City and is heavily involved in St Michael's Rowing Club in the city, was asked by the newspaper if he was happy to be coming home.

He responded: “Of course I am, but if I had my passport, as I have not got my passport yet, and that is a very tedious process here.”

Shortly after police executed a warrant on Sunday to seize his passport and the passports of fellow OCI executive members Stephen Martin and Kevin Kilty, Mr Henihan fell ill.

However he said that his condition had improved today: “I am feeling fine. I am just very tired.”

Chef de Mission Kevin Kilty and OCI CEO Stephen Martin are scheduled to meet with officers at the Cidade de Policia (Police City) in North Rio on Thursday.

The pair were due to have this meeting on Tuesday but their solicitor applied for an extension to consult with his clients.

Former OCI President Pat Hickey remains in custody at Gericino penitentiary - known as Bangu Prison - in West Rio.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the OCI said it welcomes the appointment of Judge Carroll Moran to lead the State inquiry into the distribution of tickets at the Rio Olympics and other related matters.

The body also noted the inquiry’s terms of reference.

They added that an international accountancy firm will be appointed before the weekend to conduct a review of the ticketing arrangements for the Rio Games.

Earlier this week a data security firm (Espion) was appointed by the OCI to secure, copy and seal the OCI server and all OCI electronic data.

The statement said: “All of the retrieved data will be reviewed by the soon to be appointed accountancy firm as part of its review. The findings of this review will be given to Judge Moran to be examined as part of his inquiry.

“In media interviews today Mr Brendan Howlin T.D. stated that he was unsure if Article 32 of the OCI Articles of Association prevented the OCI from cooperating with the State inquiry. The OCI’s legal advice is that there is no impediment whatsoever to the OCI cooperating fully with the inquiry and it intends to do so,” the statement concluded.

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