Monday 24 April 2017

REVEALED - The huge costs incurred by the OCI as a result of Rio ticketing controversy

Billy Kennedy, Honorary Treasurer, Olympic Council of Ireland, during the Olympic Council of Ireland EGM at the Conrad Hotel in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Billy Kennedy, Honorary Treasurer, Olympic Council of Ireland, during the Olympic Council of Ireland EGM at the Conrad Hotel in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

The fall out from the arrest of Pat Hickey has cost the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) €628,000 to date, the embattled organisation’s EGM has heard.

The meeting, at Dublin’s Conrad Hotel, has also heard tributes being paid to Mr Hickey, who is facing ticket touting charges in Brazil.

Delegates from 36 sporting federations are meeting tonight to elect Mr Hickey’s successor, the first new OCI president in 28 years.

Treasurer Billy Kennedy said law firm Arthur Cox had been paid €394,000 for legal advice in the wake of the controversy over his arrest.

Consultants Grant Thornton have been paid €214,900, while a report on corporate governance from Deloitte cost €18,500.

Public relations costs stemming from the OCI’s use of The Communications Clinic amounted to €69,500.

Mr Kennedy said the public relations costs had been paid by the OCI’s insurers AIG.

Earlier honorary general secretary Dermot Henihan paid tribute to Mr Hickey, saying the OCI became much more professional under his leadership.

“When Pat started out they were working off the kitchen table and going to members houses for meetings. It was not until 1993 that the OCI in any way settled,” he said.

“We now have a beautiful headquarters and a staff of four and a number of really good people who work hard for the Olympic movement in Ireland.

“As far as I am concerned he is a great part of the OCI and it will always be part of him.”

Henihan went on to thank Mr Hickey for his “time, commitment and energy”, saying he was held with respect around the Olympic world

Mr Henihan said he had been advised by lawyers he could not say much about Mr Hickey's arrest, but that he believed he was innocent.

"I have no doubt Pat Hickey will succeed to clear his name and have the charges made against him dismissed," says Henihan.

He asked delegates to remember Pat Hickey's legacy. "He will be sadly missed," he said.

The speech received a round of applause.

Delegates from 34 member federations and outgoing members of the OCI’s executive committee are to begin casting their votes shortly.

Three candidates are vying to succeed him in the unpaid role, acting OCI president Willie O’Brien (68), Swim Ireland chief executive Sarah Keane (43) and Basketball Ireland chief executive Bernard O’Byrne (67).

All three pledged in the run up to the election to reform how the OCI is run.

The front runners are Mr O’Brien and Ms Keane, with Mr O’Byrne considered an outside bet for the role.

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