"No decision" on whether to force Hickey to appear before Oireachtas

The committee has called for a fresh inquiry into the deal between the OCI and THG

"No decision" on whether to force Hickey to appear before Oireachtas

Pat Hickey. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

The Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport has said “no decision” has been made on whether to try and force the former president of the Olympic Council of Ireland Pat Hickey to answer questions on the Rio ticketing scandal.

Mr Hickey previously turned down a request to attend the committee as it discussed the Moran report into alleged ticket touting at the 2016 Olympic Games.

The committee has reportedly received legal advice warning that it would be difficult to compel Mr Hickey to appear as he is facing criminal charges in Brazil.

Committee members agreed that Mr Hickey should again be invited to attend “at the earliest possible opportunity.”

Fresh inquiry

This afternoon the committee also called for a fresh inquiry into the ticketing deal between the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) and The Hospitality Group (THG).

The arrangement, revealed in the Moran report, installs THG as the council’s ticket reseller until 2026.

THG was rejected as an official ticket partner by the Rio organising committee and has also been refused authorisation for the Olympic Winter Games next year in South Korea.

The OCI is currently seeking legal advice on the agreement – which the current president Sarah Keane has said was signed by Mr Hickey without the agreement of board members.

This evening, the chair of the committee, Deputy Fergus O’Dowd said the contract is "hugely important."

"It binds the OCI and THG right up to 2026 and there are a number of Olympic Games between then and now," he said.

The committee is now sending a copy of the Moran report to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement, and the Public Accounts Committee.

It will also ask additional witnesses from Sport Ireland and the OCI to attend future hearings.

"We will invite the OCI to come before the Sports Committee to outline how they will implement changes on the shortcomings identified in the judge's report to allow the organisation to move on positively from this controversy," said Deputy O'Dowd.

The committee is also set to contact the Department of Foreign Affairs to request an update on the ongoing court proceedings in Brazil.