Inquiry to investigate ticketing at 2012 Olympics

Draft terms of reference, selection of judge to be discussed with FF

The Government inquiry into the Olympics ticket controversy will investigate the distribution of tickets in 2012 and 2016, as well as corporate governance at the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI).

Draft terms of reference prepared by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and the Attorney General were circulated between officials on Monday.

The scope of the non-statutory investigation will be wider than the investigation being carried out by the Brazilian police. It will focus on the 2012 Games in London and the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro but the draft terms will allow for the inquiry chairman to expand that if necessary.

The investigation will be broad but the Government is eager that it will report back within the 12 weeks allocated. It is understood the retired judge, who will conduct the inquiry, will be asked to “examine all areas” surrounding the allocation and selling of tickets.


Authorised reseller

While the draft terms do not specifically reference Pro10 – the OCI’s authorised ticket reseller for the Rio Games – it is expected the establishment of the company and how it was allocated the tickets will be examined. Pro10 previously said it would co-operate as will UK company THG Sports, which wanted the contract for Rio but was not given it.

The controversy overshadowed Ireland’s participation in the Olympics since a Dublin man working for THG Sports was arrested in Rio on August 5th and tickets seized, many of them coming from the OCI allocation.

Pat Hickey, the long-serving OCI president who is also a member of the executive of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), was arrested in his hotel room last Wednesday as part of the police investigation. He has stood down temporarily as OCI president and also from his other Olympic roles.

Potential judges

Minister for Sport

Shane Ross

and Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan declined to comment yesterday on the planned terms of reference. It is expected both Ministers will this evening discuss with

Fianna Fáil

the draft terms and the name of potential judges who might carry out the inquiry.

Fianna Fáil spokesman on sport Robert Troy said the option of a statutory inquiry should be kept open. The current investigation will not have power to compel witnesses or documents. "Members of the public are understandably sceptical given the organisation's initial reluctance to have any independent appointees involved." Mr Troy said.

Meanwhile, three officials from the Olympic Council of Ireland are due to be questioned by Rio police today over the alleged ticket touting controversy that led to the arrest of Mr Hickey.

The OCI has confirmed that Dermot Henihan, Kevin Kilty and Stephen Martin have agreed to go to a local police station. Their passports were seized on Sunday.

The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed it was providing consular assistance to four citizens in Rio. It is understood the issue has been discussed at senior levels in the department, but the spokesman refused to say whether the Government had made any representations to the Brazilian authorities. An Irish diplomat visited Mr Hickey in prison in Rio on Monday evening.