Thursday 20 October 2016

'We're waiting in limbo' says OCI affiliate

Laura Larkin

Published 13/09/2016 | 02:30

Bernard O’Byrne. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
Bernard O’Byrne. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

The Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) has come under further pressure from its grassroots organisations to answer pressing questions about Pat Hickey and developments in Brazil relating to ticket touting allegations.

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Martin Fleming, president of Taekwondo Ireland, one of the OCI'S 39 affiliates, said the organisations "need some clarity".

His comments come after a letter from Bernard O'Byrne, of the Basketball federation, to both acting OCI president Willie O'Brien and a number of the committees affiliates calling for the OCI to better inform members about the current situation.

"We just need some clarity on the situation which we just haven't been given. I fully endorse Bernard's words. He has called it right," Mr Fleming said.

"From my point of view, Pat Hickey is entitled to a presumption of innocence, which we all know, but irrespective of that there is still an OCI to be run correctly and serve it's members effectively. We are in limbo at the moment.

"There has been no communication to say that outside of all of this it's business as usual... there is just the feeling that this is engulfing the whole organisation," he added.

Mr Fleming said focus should be on the organisation at home.

"I feel like it's about them at the moment but we still have a duty to the members and I'm not getting the impression that that's being factored in at all," he said.

An email circulated to the affiliates last week was not a direct response to Mr O'Byrne's critical letter an OCI spokeswoman said last night.

"OCI member federations have been receiving update communications from the OCI periodically since events in Rio unfolded and last week's email was another such communication," she said.

Irish Independent

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