Sunday 18 March 2018

Sarah Keane succeeds Pat Hickey as Olympic Council of Ireland president

Pat Hickey, pictured, will be succeeded as OCI president by Sarah Keane
Pat Hickey, pictured, will be succeeded as OCI president by Sarah Keane

Swim Ireland chief executive Sarah Keane will succeed Pat Hickey as president of the Olympic Council of Ireland.

The OCI has confirmed Keane was elected at an extraordinary general meeting in Dublin on Thursday.

The election was held after Hickey stood down following 28 years in charge.

Hickey, 71, was arrested in Brazil on suspicion of alleged illegal ticket touting during last summer's Olympics in Rio. He was given permission to return to Ireland in December on health grounds. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Keane received 29 votes, finishing ahead of acting president Willie O'Brien (12) and Basketball Ireland secretary general Bernard O'Byrne (two).

Keane said in a statement from Swim Ireland: "I feel humbled and privileged to have been elected as President of the OCI.

"I am grateful for the support and confidence shown to me by the Olympic sports federations and I look forward to working with the other newly-elected officers and executive committee members to reform and rebuild the OCI after what has been a very difficult few months for the Olympic movement in Ireland."

Hickey was not in attendance after recently undergoing a heart procedure but issued a statement earlier in the week.

He said: "As you will remember, at the beginning of 2016 I announced that Rio would be my last Games as president and that I would stand down immediately after the Games.

"Accordingly, the time has now come to pass the Irish Olympic torch to a new generation and I wish nothing but the best of luck and success to the new president, officers and executive committee of the OCI."

Press Association

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