Shane Ross says Pat Hickey will not represent Ireland at European Games
Sports Minister says EOC invitation to former OCI president ‘not something that we welcome’
Sports Minister Shane Ross at the official opening of phase two of the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena in Dublin. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Sports Minister Shane Ross said that his department will write to the European Olympic Association (EOC) to explain that former Olympic Council of Ireland president Pat Hickey will not represent Ireland at the European Games, which begin next week in Minsk. Hickey was invited to attend by the EOC.
“He would not have been my choice,” said Minister Ross. “But he is not representing Ireland and we have made that absolutely clear. We are writing a letter to the European Association to let them know that he is not representing Ireland.
“The OFI [Olympic Federation of Ireland] has reformed remarkably well. But Pat Hickey is not representing Ireland,” he added. “It is up to them [EOC] who they invite. It’s not obviously something that we welcome.
Mr Ross added he had not seen the FAI Governance Review but expected to do so very shortly, adding that his views were clear that a new regime and board is necessary.
“I am talking about a full change of regime and a full change of the board,” he reiterated. “There is an AGM coming up next month and the board has promised to step down. We believe that this is going to be the beginning of something very new.”