William Kennedy to retain position as OCI honorary treasurer

Willie O’Brien, Sarah Keane and Bernard O’Byrne the candidates to replace Pat Hickey

There are three candidates to succeed Pat Hickey as president of the OCI. Photograph: Inpho/James Crombie

There are three candidates to succeed Pat Hickey as president of the OCI. Photograph: Inpho/James Crombie

 

One of the longest serving members of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) will retain one of the key executive committee positions no matter what transpires at next month’s EGM in Dublin.

William Kennedy, a member of the OCI executive since 1992 and the outgoing honorary treasurer, is now the sole nomination for that position: Nicholas Jermyn, who had also been nominated by his federation, Badminton Ireland, has withdrawn his name from the ballot, which means Kennedy is now guaranteed the position for at least another four years.

The EGM, which takes place at the Conrad Hotel in Dublin on Thursday week, February 9th, will still see elections for the remaining four officer positions (president, first vice-president, second vice-president, and general secretary), as well as the seven further executive committee positions.

According to a statement from Badminton Ireland, “He (Jermyn) sincerely regrets having to withdraw his nomination but feels that the role requires considerable commitment which, following additional work requirements of which he has only recently become aware, he does not feel he can give the time that will be required of the person in the OCI Treasurer role”.

The OCI then confirmed that Kennedy, the outgoing Honorary Treasurer, “was the only other candidate nominated for the position prior to the close-off date, will now be elected to fill this key OCI Executive Committee role”.

Kennedy, who formerly represented Cycling Ireland, was actually nominated for the position by three of the 34 Olympic-affiliated federations: Archery Ireland, Irish Ice Hockey Association, and the Irish Amateur Wrestling Association.

This leaves 28 nominations in total for the various positions, including three candidates to succeed Pat Hickey as OCI president: acting OCI president Willie O’Brien, who took over last August after Hickey stepped aside pending the outcome of the Rio ticket-touting charges; Swim Ireland CEO and current OCI executive member Sarah Keane; and Bernard O’Byrne, former CEO of the FAI and currently CEO of Basketball Ireland.

Speaking on RTÉ radio over the weekend, O’Brien reiterated his belief that he is the best man to succeed Hickey, despite also being an OCI member since 1996 - and despite this conflicting with one of the key recommendations of Deloitte report which examined the association’s governance in the aftermath of the Rio ticket-touting controversy.

“There are 25 recommendations (in the report),” he said, “and I intend to make sure that each one of those recommendations are provided for, and are monitored by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). I spent two terms, eight years, as a committee member at ground floor level, learning from those experiences. And I’ve spent three terms, as first vice president, learning from the experiences. We will implement that recommendation. In order to implement them, I have to stay on, and work on implementing them.”

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