Wednesday 19 June 2019

State funding given to OCI for the first time since Pat Hickey arrest

(L to r) OCI Board Members (President) Sarah Keane, Lochlann Walsh and Billy Kennedy during a Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) media Briefing on the Moran Report into the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
(L to r) OCI Board Members (President) Sarah Keane, Lochlann Walsh and Billy Kennedy during a Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) media Briefing on the Moran Report into the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

STATE funding is to be given to the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) for the first time since the Rio ticketing fiasco.

Transport Minister Shane Ross met today 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 body, which has lost all of its corporate sponsors since former president 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.

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