Pat Hickey to be asked to appear before Oireachtas committee

Former Olympic chief is to be questioned on inquiry into tickets controversy

President of the Olympic Council of Ireland Pat Hickey. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

President of the Olympic Council of Ireland Pat Hickey. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

Former Olympic Council of Ireland chief executive Pat Hickey is to be invited to give evidence before the Oireachtas committee on sport next week.

Chairman of the committee Fergus O’Dowd confirmed Mr Hickey will be asked to appear before members to discuss the contents of a report on the ticket touting controversy at the Olympic games in Rio last year.

The inquiry by Mr Justice Carroll Moran is to be published in full by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross on Monday.

Mr Ross has agreed to appear next Thursday as has the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) and Sports Ireland.

Mr Ross told reporters on Wednesday people should not read or depend on selective leaks from the report, which have appeared in media outlets.

The Minister also insisted its contents have not been undermined by a lack of co-operation from the key players involved.

Mr Justice Moran did not receive full co-operation from all the parties involved and could not compel witnesses.

Mr Hickey and the International Olympic Committee did not provide full assistance to the inquiry.

Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Ross said: “We would have preferred if everybody co-operated but that is a matter for themselves. I do not regret the course we took.”

The Minister said the report had not been undermined, insisting its contents will speak for itself.

Mr Justice Moran was asked by the Government to examine the “policies, procedure, processes, and practices” of ticket distribution adopted by the Olympic Council of Ireland from the London 2012 to the 2016 games in Rio.

It began on September 19th last year and has still to be published due to ongoing “time issues”. An extended deadline of March 31st was set.

Mr Hickey is facing a full criminal trial in Brazil. It was expected he would seek to injunct the publication of the report. However The Irish Times understands this will not proceed.