Saturday 20 January 2018

State funding for OCI reinstated after ticket fiasco

Sports Minister Shane Ross. Photo: Paul Sharp/SHARPPIX
Sports Minister Shane Ross. Photo: Paul Sharp/SHARPPIX
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

State funding is to be given to the Olympic Council of Ireland for the first time since the Rio ticketing fiasco.

Sports Minister Shane Ross met yesterday with officials from the OCI to discuss reforms being introduced by the body.

New president Sarah Keane has spoken publicly about the financial hardship facing the OCI, which has lost all of its corporate sponsors since Pat Hickey's arrest in Brazil.

A total of €130,000 was withheld in 2016 and under normal circumstances the OCI would have expected to receive another €300,000 this year through Sport Ireland.

Ms Keane and the OCI's honorary general secretary, Sarah O'Shea, pressed the minister yesterday on the need for funding to be restored.

In a statement, Mr Ross said he is now satisfied that the outgoing funding for 2016 "was spent on athlete-related activities and is in order for reimbursement".

"With regard to funding for 2017 onwards, I will engage with the OCI and Sport Ireland in joint pursuit of continued progress in the months ahead," he said.

Irish Independent

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