€180,000 bursary to be set up in name of Olympic chief Pat Hickey
A BURSARY worth €180,000 looks set to be established in the name of the president of the Olympic Council of Ireland, Pat Hickey, when he retires from his post.
The board of the council approved an honorarium of €60,000 for each year between 2010 and 2012 to be given to Mr Hickey in recognition of his "sterling services to the Olympic movement in Ireland over the past 25 years", according to the OCI's accounts.
The OCI spokesman said: "When he retires from the position of president of the Olympic Council of Ireland, the accrued sum will be used as a bursary in his name for the development of young athletes."
An honorarium is an ex-gratia payment made to a person for their services in a volunteer capacity or for services for which fees are not traditionally required.
The spokesman said that a decision on any honorarium relating to the OCI's 2013 year will be made after the Sochi Winter Olympic games.
The €180,000 fund that will be at Mr Hickey's disposal dwarfs the individual amounts distributed by the OCI in 2012. The figures show that the highest recipients, the Irish Olympic Handball Association, received €40,000, with Pentalon Ireland receiving €25,000.
The spokesman said that Mr Hickey's current four-term year as OCI president will expire at the next AGM, to be held later this year, and Mr Hickey would definitely be a candidate for re-election. He said that Mr Hickey "works full-time on OCI activity as a volunteer, unpaid basis and has done so for many, many years".
Mr Hickey – who turns 69 this coming June – was first elected as president of the OCI in 1988. A former president of the Irish Judo Association and with a black belt, the Phibsborough man was elected to the all-powerful 16-strong executive board of the International Olympic Committee in 2012.