He came through the doors pushing his own luggage trolly, looking like any other holiday maker returning home from holidays.
But in the full glare of the national media, Shane Ross emerged through the security doors in Terminal 1 in Dublin Airport.
Perhaps aiming to portray a humble image, Ross set his stall out, having landed back from Brazil.
Today, the Government is to announce a full independent inquiry into the Rio Olympics ticket scandal, he told assembled reporters live on national television.
“I am meeting tomorrow with Minister Patrick O’Donovan, officials from the Attorney General’s office, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and we will decide tomorrow what sort of enquiry to carry out and to be sensitive to the international situation. We expect a decision to be made tomorrow,” he said.
Mr Ross said that independent oversight is essential to the inquiry and this was what he had requested in his meeting with Pat Hickey.
“The principle question I asked on Monday was the one about accepting independence or at least an independent member on the inquiry. That was the principle one and that was turned down absolutely flat.
“We haven’t determined the terms of reference. But nothing I supposed should be out of bounds at all provided it doesn’t do any damage to the proceedings that are going on in Brazil at the moment.
“I think we need to keep the options open. Probably tomorrow certainly we are looking at only an independent inquiry. There is a very good case for the Transport and Sport Committee to look at it as well. I think they have done it before on the Olympics. They did it with the London Olympics but I think there is a very good case for them as well. There is no reason why we can’t have parallel reports coming out about this.”
Mr Ross said he does not mind whether the inquiry is headed up by a senior counsel or a judge, “provided it is someone who is seen to be independent and gives credibility to the inquiry”.
There is a political consensus now an independent inquiry must take place and Mr Ross said he feels it could run alongside criminal investigations in Rio.
But what is clear: the previously proposed OCI internal inquiry is now obsolete.
“I’m assuming that is now off the table. I don’t know, we haven’t discussed that but I think it is very, very unlikely,” he told reporters.
Ultimately, following Mr Hickey’s arrest, the Government is demanding proper accountability and transparency and the OCI will have little or no option but to cooperate or lose their funding.
Mr Ross was pressed about reports in this morning’s Irish Examiner which said the Government is considering pulling the funding from the OCI.
He said the re-routing of funding — which this year amounted to €520,000, through another body — has to be considered.
While Mr Ross has been criticised for his handling of the Hickey affair since heading over to Rio, there is support within Government for his desire to contain the political fallout of this controversy.
Mr Ross also again said the Attorney General’s opinion is merely only an opinion, but said in this situation, her advice will be of paramount importance.
Later today, we will see the colour of Mr Ross’ money and just what inquiry he is able to set up.
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