Pat Hickey: ‘Significant inaccuracies’ in Moran report
However Hickey is ‘pleased to see my reputation and good name have been cleared’
Former OCI President Pat Hickey has claimed there are significant inaccuracie sin Justice Carroll Moran’s report on the Rio ticket touting controversy. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Pat Hickey claims there are “significant inaccuracies” in Justice Carroll Moran’s report into the Olympic Council of Ireland’s (OCI) ticket-touting controversy, but that he is “pleased to see my reputation and good name have been cleared” and that there is “no allegation of criminality or financial impropriety”.
Moran’s 226-page report is to be published On Monday, in which he criticises the “failure by so many principal participants” to engage with the inquiry, including Hickey, the former president of the OCI who was arresting during the Rio Olympics last August of charges of ticket
In a lengthy statement issued to The Irish Times, Hickey outlines the reasons behind his non-participation - and directly criticises Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross for failing to bring to the attention of Dail Eireann the agreed legal procedure on the matter, which “would have resulted in substantial saving to the Irish taxpayer.”
The cost of the report, which began its work on September 19th 2016, was €312,765.
Hickey, who remains a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), also says he is looking forward “in due course to resuming my international Olympic duties.”
Hickey’s statement in full is as follows:
“I have read the report of Judge Carroll Moran S.C. and while the report contains significant inaccuracies I am pleased to see my reputation and good name have been cleared in that there is no allegation of criminality or financial impropriety.
“The launching and conducting of an inquiry while proceedings were still outstanding in Brazil was ill-conceived arising from an inability on the part of participants to partake in the inquiry based on legal advice.
“For my part I was advised by eminent lawyers in Brazil, solicitors and Senior Counsel in Ireland not to participate in the Inquiry pending the outcome of the Brazilian proceedings as I was advised it could and would prejudice my entitlement to a fair trial in Brazil and my vindicating my constitutional entitlements and innocence.
“The legal advice I received was comprehensive and to explain my inability to contribute to the Inquiry my solicitors on my instructions furnished copies of my legal advice to: Retired Judge Carroll Moran S.C.; The Attorney General; Minister Ross.
“On the 16th of August 2016 a procedure was agreed as and between the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI), the Chairman of Sport Ireland and Minister Ross whereby a committee of inquiry comprising representatives to include the Assistant Secretary of the Minister’s Department would be empowered and entitled to look into the subject matter of the remit of the Moran Inquiry.
“Had this procedure been implemented it would have resulted in substantial saving to the Irish taxpayer, the Olympic Council of Ireland and other participants in the Moran Inquiry to include myself. It is regrettable that the Minister did not bring to the attention of Dail Eireann the procedure he agreed on in or around the 16th of August 2016. In time the cost of this Inquiry will become well-known as will the cost to the Irish taxpayer.
“Recognising my fundamental entitlements to fair procedures and due process a principle that is well established in law a number of the principal players such as the International Olympic Committee, the Rio 2016 Committee and others did not participate in the Moran Inquiry.
“Accordingly to quote from earlier comment of Judge Moran ‘the Inquiry has heard only from those willing or able to participate, the result has been that, in many instances, instead of making conclusive findings, this report has been confined to a narrative of events’.
“The report contains significant flaws and inaccurate assumptions. Because of the ongoing trial in Brazil now is not the time to address these serious inaccuracies, in time I propose on the proclamation of my innocence to address all issues. Regrettably the Moran Inquiry has failed to include the full suite of correspondence between my solicitors and the Moran Inquiry that addressed all of the issues in dispute.
“The Inquiry looked at the issue of corporate governance which is highly topical of late. With the help of hardworking Officers and Executive Committee members I as President managed and directed the affairs of the Olympic Council of Ireland for 27 years from 1989 to 2016. On an annual basis the Olympic Council of Ireland was subject to scrutiny and question by its members at annual general meetings and occasional special general meetings.
“At these meetings myself, the Officers and Executive Committee received approval by true democratic means and election which in itself confirms and supports adherence to all concepts of corporate governance. Over the period of time referred to there were 7 elections and 7 votes of approval on the management of the affairs of the Olympic Council of Ireland. In my period as President of the Olympic Council of Ireland, the OCI a limited company complied with the highest standards of Irish Company Law received and relied on the best corporate advice and lawyers in Ireland, amongst them the current solicitors to the Olympic Council of Ireland, Arthur Cox & co.
“As was customary the Olympic Council of Ireland as a limited company was subject to scrutiny by the Director of Corporate Enforcement, government departments and was subject to an annual audit by international auditors, in the 27 years of my stewardship the auditor’s report was always clear, clean and published without qualifications.
“In addition, over the period of 27 years the Olympic Council of Ireland was subject to additional audits by the Irish Sports Council now Sport Ireland, the International Olympic Committee and occasional audits by the Comptroller & Auditor General. In all instances the ancillary audits referred to were clear and over 27 years no issues ever arose about the management of the affairs of the Olympic Council of Ireland. Furthermore no issue was ever raised at general meeting, special general meeting or in any audit about a failure on the part of the Olympic Council of Ireland to adhere to a recognised concept of corporate governance.
“It would however be remiss of me at this point in time not to address a suggestion of concealment made in the report and the fact that THG is simply a ticketing agent rather than the largest commercial partner of the Olympic Council of Ireland.
“THG were the largest commercial partner of the Olympic Council of Ireland for the London Games 2012 (and subsequent Games). The identity of THG was well known and fully canvassed in the media. Given that THG was the Olympic Council of Ireland’s largest commercial partner it is completely normal that I and the Olympic Council of Ireland had a working relationship with THG and its Chairman Marcus Evans who was consulted as a ticketing expert in 2016 by the International Olympic Committee.
“At all times I acted in the best interests of the Olympic Council of Ireland with a view to maximising revenue for the Olympic Council of Ireland which in turn was channelled into the management of current and future Olympic athletes in Ireland. Sponsorship is the life blood of sport and more particularly successful Olympic participation.
“At the time I announced my retirement in January 2016 and subsequent thereto I left a credit amount in the bank account of the Olympic Council of Ireland to the order of €2.5 m.
“I await the outcome of legal procedures in Brazil and regrettably I and my family are frustrated by the delays in the process which are outside my control. However, my legal team and I remain totally confident that I will be cleared of all charges in Brazil. I look forward in due course to resuming my international Olympic duties.”