Wednesday 13 December 2017

New OCI chief Sarah Keane wants €800k spent on Rio ticketing controversy to be viewed as 'an investment'

New Olympic Council of Ireland President Sarah Keane after the Olympic Council of Ireland EGM at the Conrad Hotel in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
New Olympic Council of Ireland President Sarah Keane after the Olympic Council of Ireland EGM at the Conrad Hotel in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Cormac Byrne

Cormac Byrne

Newly-elected Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) president Sarah Keane hopes that the huge sums paid out in the wake of the Rio ticketing controversy will be viewed as an investment in the future.

It was revealed at the council's EGM last week at the Conrad Hotel, that the fall out from the arrest of Pat Hickey has cost the OCI had cost them in excess of €800,000.

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 but Mr Kennedy confirmed that these costs would be covered by the OCI’s insurers AIG.

Speaking to Today with Sean O'Rourke on RTE Radio One, Keane confirmed that they would recoup some of the money through their insurance company but the scale of the funds used have had a detrimental effect on the organisation.

"It was huge. Financially it was devastating for the Olympic Council between reports and legal fees," she said.

"There was a lot of people involved. There was Pat [Hickey] but there were other members of the board as well, there were staff members, there were lawyers in Brazil for a ll of those individuals as well as the organisation. There were lawyers in Dublin for almost all of those individuals as well.

"There were communications issues.

"When I was on the crisis management committee, I'd say we were getting 20-30 emails a day in relation to the matter.

"There was a lot of things going on but they had to be addressed and as an organisation we had to deal with that and I'd like to think that maybe we will see this at some stage later as an investment in the future of the organisation."

She confirmed that the Grant Thornton investigation is 'postponed' pending the conclusion of the legal proceedings in Brazil.

She said a decision was taken at board level that the probe would be 'finalised and sealed' and given to Judge Moran who is carrying out a separate investigation on behalf on Minister for Sport, Shane Ross.

"I suspect that the new board will want to look at that again and have a discussion around that," she said.

"There was a threat of an injunction and the board decided to postpone anything happening with the report while the Rio proceedings were underway.

"My view is that a substantial amount of money went into the report and my view is that people would want to know what the truth of the matter is."

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