OCI must prioritise needs of athletes, their families and coaches - Committee

The Olympic Council of Ireland must prioritise the needs of athletes, their families and coaches in future Olympic Games, the Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport has said following the publication of report by Justice Carroll Moran into issues surrounding the distribution of tickets for the Rio Olympic Games.

The lack of co-operation by a number of key participants in the inquiry by Justice Carroll Moran was also very disappointing, according to Fergus O’Dowd, Chairman of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport.

Deputy O’Dowd said: “The inquiry was limited in its investigations and findings by many parties availing of their right against self-incrimination and thereby not engaging with the inquiry. This is obviously disappointing given the huge public disquiet surrounding the distribution of tickets for the Rio Olympic Games

“Nevertheless, we welcome Justice Carroll Moran’s report which examined policies, procedures, processes and practices adopted by the Olympic Council of Ireland around ticketing for the Olympic Games. It highlights a number of issues which will be of concern to the committee and which we will be keen to raise at our meeting this week. It is critical of governance of the OCI over many years. Of particular concern is the finding that accounting procedures were not robust, particularly for a body in receipt of taxpayers’ money. We will be keen to find out what changes have been put in place in the OCI to improve governance and accountability.

“The provision of tickets to Irish athletes, their families and friends by the firm looking after Ireland’s ticket allocation was inadequate and ineffective. Problems around accreditation for athletes and coaches were also revealed in the report. This is indefensible and we will want assurances from the Olympic Council of Ireland that accreditation and allocation of tickets is prioritised and managed more effectively in the future.

“Committee members will now have an opportunity to read the report in full before the Committee discusses its findings and recommendations at its meeting this Thursday. Witnesses invited to that meeting include Minister Shane Ross; Sarah Keane, President of the Olympic Council of Ireland; John Treacy, CEO, and Kieran Mulvey Chairman of Sport Ireland. Former OCI President Pat Hickey will also be invited to attend.”

The meeting will take place in Committee Room 3 at 11am on Thursday 17 August.

Committee proceedings can be viewed live here.

Committee proceedings can also be viewed on the move, through the Houses of the Oireachtas Smartphone App, available for Apple and Android devices.

Media Enquiries:

Ciaran Brennan,
Communications Unit,
Houses of the Oireachtas,
Leinster House,
Dublin 2,
D02 XR20,
Ireland.

P: +353 1 6183903
M: +353 86 0496518
Email: Ciaran.brennan@oireachtas.ie
Twitter: @OireachtasNews

Committee Membership:

Chairman: Fergus O'Dowd (Fine Gael)

Deputies:

Mick Barry (AAA-PBP)
Peter Fitzpatrick (Fine Gael)
Imelda Munster (Sinn Féin)
Catherine Murphy (SD/GPTG)
Kevin O'Keeffe (Fianna Fáil)
Robert Troy (Fianna Fáil)

Senators:

Frank Feighan (Fine Gael)
Pádraig Ó Céidigh (Independent)
John O’Mahony (Fine Gael)
Ned O’Sullivan (Fianna Fáil)