Government approves €300,000 funding for the Olympic Council of Ireland

Minister Shane Ross says the body has implemented all recommendations

Government approves €300,000 funding for the Olympic Council of Ireland

OCI President Sarah Keane at the launch of the Olympic Council of Ireland Strategic Plan 2018-2024 at Buswells Hotel in Dublin | Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Updated: 19.45

Sports Minister Shane Ross has approved grant funding to the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) for €300,000.

The funding had been withheld pending the outcome of the Moran Inquiry and the OCI implementing its reform agenda.

Back in August, an inquiry into alleged ticket touting at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro last year said it was hampered by the fact that many of the participants chose not to cooperate.

It also criticised the governance at the OCI, and found that accounting procedures were not robust.

The board of Sport Ireland, through whom the payment is made, says it is satisfied that funds have been spent on athlete-related activities.

Minister Ross says he has maintained contact with the OCI President Sarah Keane and other OCI executive committee members.

On Monday, the OCI briefed the minister on ticketing arrangements for the 2018 Winter Olympics, as well as plans for ticketing at the Summer Games in 2020 and beyond.

Minister Ross said: "We are now in a position to fully restore Government funding to the Olympic Council of Ireland.

"In taking the decision to release 2016 funding in September, I made it clear that full restoration would only be achieved if the OCI continue progress on its corporate governance reform agenda and addressed the legacy issues arising from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

"I am satisfied all 25 recommendations in the Deloitte report have now been addressed.

"Additionally, the conclusion of the OCI’s commercial relationship with the THG company draws a line under the unacceptable ticketing arrangements detailed in Judge Moran’s report."

He added: "In regard to funding for 2018 and beyond, it will of course be necessary for the OCI to maintain its commitment to the highest governance standards, and in particular that the membership of the executive committee of the OCI will comprise people of impeccable integrity."

In response, OCI President Sarah Keane said: "On behalf of the OCI I wish to thank Minister Ross and Minister Griffin for the decision to release 2017 funding and to restore normal funding arrangements from 2018.

"We can now move ahead confidently with our athlete centred plans for 2018 and beyond."