Sunday 22 September 2019

Irishman in Rio 'tout' probe was volunteer for Special Olympics

Kevin Mallon, who is still in a cell in Brazil awaiting charges, was once a volunteer for the Irish Special Olympics team Photo: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
Kevin Mallon, who is still in a cell in Brazil awaiting charges, was once a volunteer for the Irish Special Olympics team Photo: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

The ticketing company executive facing touting charges in Brazil was once a volunteer for the Irish Special Olympics team.

Father-of-one Kevin Mallon (36) helped out with teams who competed in a number of tournaments in recent years. These included the 2003 Special Olympics and the 2010 European Summer Games, sources told the Irish Independent.

The accountant, from Drimnagh in Dublin, has been in custody since August 5, when he was arrested in possession of over 800 tickets for the Rio Olympics.

He is facing charges of diverting tickets for the purpose of their illegal resale. Authorities in Brazil said the company he works for, UK-based THG Sports, was not authorised to sell the tickets.


The son of a plasterer, he has worked for THG's owners, the Marcus Evans Group, for at least four years. He is THG's finance director and is also currently a director of 12 companies in the group, all of which are registered in the UK.

The companies, which specialise in hospitality for sporting events, are owned by multi-millionaire businessman Marcus Evans, who is also owner and chairman of football club Ipswich Town.

Mr Mallon's wife is a UCD graduate working in the disability sector. The couple have been married for six years and became parents during the past year with the birth of a baby girl.

They live in a modest semi-detached home in Drimnagh, where Mr Mallon grew up.

People in the locality said Mr Mallon was friendly, but kept his business interests to himself.

"He seems like a cool guy and always says hello, but you wouldn't hear him talking about his work," said one neighbour.

A local said he was "from a good family" and it was "a shame" he was in trouble.

Another neighbour said there was a feeling in the area that he was unlucky to find himself arrested.

"I think he was unfortunate. It doesn't seem to be his fault," she said.

Mr Mallon was based at THG's European headquarters in Ballsbridge, Dublin. The Marcus Evans Group also has offices in the IFSC.

In recent years he has sat on the board of no less than 30 companies in the group. These include firms handling hospitality and events in Russia, South Africa, Spain, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Scandinavia and the Asia-Pacific region. He was also a director of a company dealing with property interests.

The Dubliner resigned most of these directorships earlier this year, but remains on the board of a dozen companies in the group.

Mr Mallon has been held in custody at the José Frederico Marque Public Jail in Bangu, north of Rio, since being arrested at a corporate event during the opening ceremony of Olympics.

He has been sharing a cell with Olympic Council of Ireland president Pat Hickey, who was arrested as part of the ticket touting probe last week. Both are being held on suspicion of committing offences and neither has been formally charged yet.

Mr Mallon's legal team is reported to have made two unsuccessful attempts to have him freed on bail.

Irish Independent

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