The president of the Olympic Council of Ireland, Pat Hickey, is to donate an honorary payment of €180,000 when he retires towards the development of young athletes.
Accounts for the OCI for 2010, 2011, and 2012, show the board approved an honorarium of €60,000 each year to be given to Mr Hickey in recognition of “sterling services to the Olympic movement in Ireland over the past 25 years”.
The Olympic charter does not allow for its honorary members to receive a salary. A spokesman for the OCI said that “this honorarium has not been drawn down by Mr Hickey and he has no intention of doing so”.
The OCI spokesman said: “When he retires from the position of president of the Olympic Council of Ireland the accrued sum will be used as a bursary in his name for the development of young athletes.”
An honorarium is an ex gratia payment made to a person for their services in a volunteer capacity or for services for which fees are not traditionally required.
The OCI spokesman said a decision on any honorarium relating to the OCI’s 2013 year will be made after the Winter Olympics.
The €180,000 fund that will be at Mr Hickey’s disposal dwarfs the individual amounts distributed by the OCI in 2012. The figures show the highest recipients, the Irish Olympic Handball Association, received €40,000, with Pentalon Ireland receiving €25,000.
The OCI spokesman said: “Pat Hickey is a volunteer and unpaid officer of the Olympic Council of Ireland. He has never received any payment for his services at any time from the Olympic Council of Ireland.”
Mr Hickey is currently at the Winter Olympics in Sochi in his role as a member of the executive board of the International Olympic Committee.
The spokesman said Mr Hickey’s current four-term year as OCI President “will expire at the next AGM to be held later this year. Pat Hickey will definitely be a candidate for re-election”.
He said Mr Hickey “works full-time on OCI activity as a volunteer, unpaid basis and has done so for many, many years”.
The 2012 accounts for the OCI show its spend during 2012, when the Olympics took place in London, increased by 61%, from €62,451 to €1m.
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