No criminal probe here into Olympic scandal, say gardaí
Published 19/08/2016 | 02:30
Gardai do not intend to probe the circumstances which led to Pat Hickey's arrest in Brazil.
While the Brazilian police have raised serious questions about the Dublin-based deal between the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) and ticket agent PRO10, gardaí do not believe they should set up an investigation.
A spokesperson said there had been no allegations made in Ireland and therefore it was an issue for the authorities in Rio de Janeiro.
"The Brazilian police are investigating this matter," the garda spokesperson added.
Sports Minister Shane Ross is set to meet with the Attorney General today in a bid to set up an independent inquiry.
He said that whatever form of investigation took place, it would have to be "sensitive to the international situation".
"I don't mind whether it is a senior counsel or judge [leading the inquiry] provided it is someone who is seen to be independent and gives credibility to the inquiry," he said.
The Irish Independent understands that in the hours before Mr Hickey's arrest, the OCI had reached an agreement with the minister to replace an OCI lawyer on its investigation with a Department of Transport and Sport official.
However, as he arrived back in Dublin last night, Mr Ross said he assumed the OCI inquiry "is now off the table".
Speaking about the Government's next move, the minister said: "I don't think you can exclude the fact that you can set up an inquiry at the moment; we will be very, very sensitive to what's happening in Brazil.
"We will do absolutely nothing which will prejudice what is happening in Brazil."
Asked whether he anticipates the OCI will co-operate with an independent inquiry, Mr Ross replied: "They won't have an option."
He added: "I would be amazed if a body of that sort didn't co-operate with any inquiry. It would be extraordinary. I think it is very likely they will do so."
Mr Ross noted that the Oireachtas committee on sport may also have a role in reviewing the events in Rio.
"They did it with the London Olympics, but I think there is a very good case for them as well.There is no reason why we can't have parallel reports coming out of this," he said.