Tuesday 19 February 2019

'I didn't like Pat Hickey's arrest being filmed for TV news' - Ryan Tubridy

Ryan Tubridy with dancer Shauna Finn at the RTÉ new season launch at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. Photo: Andres Poveda
Ryan Tubridy with dancer Shauna Finn at the RTÉ new season launch at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. Photo: Andres Poveda
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

Ryan Tubridy has condemned the filming by Brazilian TV crews of the arrest in Rio of Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) President Pat Hickey.

The presenter said he would rather see due process run its course.

“Culturally, I think that’s what they do in Rio and that’s how it works there. I didn’t like it particularly, but I felt and I still do, that until I see due justice done, it’s bizarre that you can chase someone around hotel rooms in Rio with no evidence,” he said.

“I like to see evidence and then we’ll have a look. And then decide it. I feel there’s a rush to judge.

“Regardless of your thoughts about Pat Hickey or anyone, the OCI or any of those organisations, it’s just due process.”

When asked about Mr Hickey’s treatment in prison, which included having his head shaved, he said there was obviously a huge difference in the way the justice system operated in Brazil. 

“I’m concerned about that, if that’s the way they do things there.

“We can’t apply Irish or European justice standards to the Brazilian world. That’s the way they roll,” he said.

“We’ll wait and see what happens but it certainly was an unfortunate diversion (from the Olympics).”

He was reluctant to criticise the reporting of Hickey’s arrest because he felt that the the media “did everything by the book in terms of legal and defamation.”

“I thought the coverage was as fair as it’s going to get. Online is a different story in terms of comment but I don’t know because I wasn’t there.”

Tubridy’s  production team is currently finalising guests for the new season of the Late Late Show – and he said he wouldn’t rule out an interview with Mr Hickey on his release from prison. “Of course, I’d like anyone on the show that would add a bit of frisson.

“We do have a plan to confront all sides of the Olympic story,” he said.

He also said that convicted drugs mule Michaella McCollum would be a “person of interest” when it came to potential guests. There has been widespread speculation about whether McCollum will do the rounds on the chat show circuit now she is home.

“Is there an appetite to see Michaealla McCollum on the Late Late Show? I think she’d be a person of interest.

“Would we be breaking down the doors to get her on the show? I’m not so sure. We need to think very carefully about that,” he said.

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