If you were to read The Irish Independent for today (4th Nov 2016 – LINK), you would find the following quote headlining an article:
“The family of former Olympic Council of Ireland boss Pat Hickey have said an inquiry set up by the body into the Rio ticketing scandal would have provided a “worthless” report.”
The newspaper goes on to report:
“Mr Hickey has successfully managed to stop auditors Grant Thornton carrying out a review of the OCI’s ticketing procedures following the threat of a court injunction.”
Here is the thing though… If a inquiry report on one hand is painted as “worthless” by Mr Hickey’s family, why were they so fiercely determined to stop it? Did they and Mr Hickey in fact fear any findings along with material evidence that it might have discovered? If so, did they then fear that such items might have been legal requested by those in Brazil also investigating Mr Hickey?
On one hand Mr Hickey appears to espouse that an inquiry would be pointless – but on the other he then says that such an inquiry might impinge on his constitutional entitlement, the principle of fair procedures and the right to a fair trial.
In other words, the inquiry might be powerless but powerful stuff to oddly oppose it through legal action! Which is it Mr Hickey? Are you disregarding the inquiry but then fearing any findings? How is an Ireland inquiry going to affect a legal process of another country that has different constitutional rules and has no jurisdiction here?
“Mr Hickey, who is in a state of “critical health” according to court papers, had lunch before going for an afternoon stroll with his lawyer in the upmarket neighbourhood.” LINK
Mr Hickey, who was very well enough to travel at high atmospheric plane pressures to Brazil, was suddenly hit by a heart condition around the days that he was arrested, then held for further questioning by Brazilian authorities (over ticket laws that he is alleged to have broken). Will Mr Hickey back home, also use a health excuse for not being held to account, if it’s also thought here that he should be?
The OCI (Olympic Committee of Ireland) was previously paying Mr Hickey a massive €800 a day for his own Brazil trip as well as picking up other parts of the trips bill. They later stopped paying him the €800 fee but instead, gave him instead €360,000 in what it called an “honorarium award” (LINK) and €2,300 for an apartment (LINK).
The OCI has yet to explain why they were paying him such large amounts per day, how €800 a day was justified and why the later non-obligated huge sum was also gifted? He was flown first class while the actual Irish Olympic team was left to fly in economy class (LINK).
The OCI knew as did the rest of Ireland and the world, that he was under international investigation – so what message did their rewarding of Mr Hickey in such a huge fashion, send out! Was someone in the IOC just looking for a good reason also, to stall an inquiry – then was given a supposedly good way to halt it?
There is many questions still to be answered by politicians who again, are all too quiet. They might be legal hampered from investigating (for the moment) matters surrounding Mr Hickey and they would use that legal excuse if questioned themselves – but they could still question why he was paid in such a huge fashion? They could find out just what exactly is going on in the OCI, who came up with the notion to pay out €360,000 at such a time, who authorised it (plus more) and will there be anyone be held to account?
Sadly, it’s likely that the usual Dail entrenched elected will do little or nothing regarding a lot of the above matters – beyond brief party PR sound-bites! The list of issues being avoided by Dail elected continues to grow.