Sunday 15 July 2018

The 'rotten culture' of the OCI under Pat Hickey has been revealed - Shane Ross

Minister Shane Ross Picture: Robbie Reynolds
Minister Shane Ross Picture: Robbie Reynolds
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

THE Moran Inquiry has "shined a light" on the "shameful standards of corporate governance" at the Olympic Council of Ireland under Pat Hickey, Transport Minister Shane Ross has said.

The minister has today defended the €300,000 inquiry, saying the OCI was an example of the "triumph of commerce over competitors".

Mr Ross told the Oireachtas Committee on Sport that in his view Judge Carroll Moran has "revealed a hitherto unknown rotten culture at the heart of the OCI".

"Judge Moran has exposed the stress and frustration caused to athletes, their families and their friends by the OCI's appointment of a ticketing agent that was nothing other than a charade and totally unfit for purpose, he said.

The committee heard Mr Justice Moran could not establish all of the fact but Mr Ross said he did not need to.

"He was not in pursuit of criminality, merely a narrative of events, however unpalatable."

The minister noted that Pat Hickey has claimed there are inaccuracies in the report, but said he was afforded "every opportunity to engage with the Inquiry".

Mr Ross also said the deals done between Mr Hickey and ticketing company THG "created a lucrative stream of income for the OCI".

"Nothing in this report suggests that individuals in the OCI were benefiting personally from these arrangements.

"But clearly commercial interests can never again be afforded priority over the interests of athletes, their friends and families, and ordinary spectators.

Pat Hickey. Photo: SPORTSFILE
Pat Hickey. Photo: SPORTSFILE

"I regret that the OCI under the leadership of Pat Hickey defined this doctrine," Mr Ross said.

Mr Hickey has declined to attended today's special hearing on the grounds that it could interfere with his right to a fair trial in Brazil.

More to follow

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