A former sports minister has called on the Government’s inquiry into the ticket touting scandal to examine whether there is any need for the Olympic Council of Ireland to exist, after claiming Pat Hickey ran the group “like he was the ruler of a small country”.
Jim McDaid made the claim on RTÉ’s Drivetime yesterday, before the OCI’s expected appointment today of an international accountancy firm to oversee its own ticket touting investigation.
Asked about his experience of Mr Hickey, with whom Mr McDaid was embroiled in a public spat during the Sydney 2000 Olympics, the former Fianna Fáil TD said Mr Hickey handled the organisation “like he was the ruler of small country”.
Mr McDaid confirmed he was not given a specific breakdown of how funding was spent at the group during his time as minister, and added that he wants the government inquiry into the ticket touting scandal to examine whether the OCI serves any purpose, given the separate work of its sports body members.
The comment came as the crisis-hit OCI prepares to appoint an international accountancy firm to oversee its own Rio ticket touting controversy investigation later today.
A spokesman for the organisation confirmed the move last night as the OCI stressed it would comply “fully” with any requests made by the government inquiry and will not limit its responses to what is contained in its own report.
The decision by the OCI to appoint an international accountancy firm to examine its own records is in part to assure the organisation’s members no additional internal issues are apparent and to provide clarity on to the Government’s inquiry.
However, despite concerns that the Olympic Council may limit its responses to the Government inquiry to what it finds in its own report, a spokesman last night stressed the sporting body is committed to “fully co-operating” with any requests in addition to the document.
Meanwhile, the council also said its decision to appoint data security firm Espion to “secure, copy and seal the OCI server and all OCI electronic data”, earlier this week was simply a precaution.
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