The Olympic Council of Ireland met late into the night last night for the first time since the publication of the Moran Report and subsequent hearings by the Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport.
In a statement issued after midnight, they revealed that a number of key decisions had been unanimously agreed with regard to the past present and future of the Olympic movement in Ireland.
These included agreement on the following:
- To accept all of Judge Moran’s findings
- To seek to address the concerns raised by Judge Moran with regard to the absence of a full reconciliation of tickets and ticket revenue. In this regard, the Board agreed this evening to engage Grant Thornton to carry out this process. It is anticipated that the process will be completed by the end of September.
- To pursue the implementation of the remaining 8 recommendations of the Deloitte report and to put them before OCI Members at an EGM towards the end of the year
- Following the decision by the Pyeongchang Organising Committee to terminate the OCI’s Authorised Ticket Reseller (ATR) arrangements for the 2018 Winter Games the Board has decided to handle all ticketing arrangements for these Games itself (subject to the approval of the local Pyeongchang organising committee). Ireland is expected to have a small team of between 5-10 athletes competing at the 2018 Winter Games.
- To seek an immediate meeting with Minister Shane Ross TD with a view to expediting the reinstatement of State funding to the OCI to ensure that the future planning and preparation of athletes and teams is not disrupted.
The statement went on to say that “The Board is aware that the IOC Ethics Commission is carrying out an investigation into the situation regarding the former OCI President. Tonight the Board agreed to fully cooperate with that investigation and to share and provide requested information and documentation to the Commission, including the Moran Report. We expect that this process may take some time to reach a conclusion. Nonetheless the Board tonight unanimously agreed that it would not accept the return of the former President to the OCI Board.“
“On foot of legal advice, the Board cannot comment on the decisions it made this evening with regard to ticketing arrangements for Tokyo 2020 and beyond.“
“The Board is eager to move forward, to take the learnings from the past and to focus its time and energy on implementing its reform agenda and concentrating on athletes, their families, coaches, and member federations to ensure that it delivers for them in their pursuit of the Olympic dream and ideals.“
These were the necessary next steps in a process of recovery from the blows which landed on the OCI in terms of legal challenges and corporate governance shortcomings over the past year.
Whether Pat Hickey gets to be questioned by the Oireachtas Committee or whether fresh action is needed to void the contracts tieing the new board to ticketing agreements signed without their or their predecessor Board’s full knowledge and approval, remain to be seen.
Should the Government decide that enough is being done to reinstate funding that will open a flow of money that will benefit the next wave of Olympians.
We may not have a full answer on whether that is likely until the Department publishes its sport funding plans for 2018 after this year’s budget which takes place on Tuesday, October 10th.
In the style of a TV blockbuster, this is one of those stories which finishes up for now with the line To Be Continued…
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