Charlie Flanagan to meet Pat Hickey family over concerns about his detention

OCI chief's family said to be concerned about manner of his arrest and its effects on his health

Charlie Flanagan to meet Pat Hickey family over concerns about his detention

Pat Hickey | File photo: PA Images

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan is to meet the family of Pat Hickey to discuss concerns about his detention in Brazil.

The president of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) temporarily stepped down following his arrest last week in connection with the alleged illegal resale of Rio 2016 tickets.

The 71-year-old is said to be sharing a cell at Rio’s Bangu prison with Kevin Mallon, the Irish executive being held as part of the same ticket-touting investigation.

In a statement issued by their solicitor yesterday, Mr Hickey’s family said they were concerned about the manner of his arrest, his right to a fair hearing and his detention without charge.

They also cited worries about the effects of the arrest on his health and the pre-trial disclosure of purported evidence to the media “without any right of a reply”.

“This arrest and detention occurred over seven days ago and still no charges have been brought, nor has an appropriate venue for a bail application been made available to Pat Hickey,” said the family’s solicitor, Anne Marie James.

Minister Flanagan said in response that arrangements for a meeting with family would be made “in the coming days”.

He said the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was continuing to provide consular care to Mr Hickey through the Irish embassy and consulate in Brazil.

"My officials are in ongoing contact with the family of this citizen and with legal representative acting on his behalf,” he said.

"Senior officials of the Department met with Mr Hickey’s Dublin-based solicitors on Wednesday, August 24th, and discussed the family’s concerns in detail, and explained the Department’s approach to this consular case.”

Mr Flanagan added that Irish authorities were in ongoing contact with Brazilian authorities but were unable to interfere in any way in the judicial processes in another country.

Separately, the OCI has appointed accounting firm Grant Thornton to conduct an independent review into ticketing arrangements for the Olympic Games.

The organisation said yesterday that the review, when completed, will be given to Judge Carroll Moran, who is chairing a state inquiry into the matter.

Athletes will be invited to give evidence about their experience of ticket handling as part of the review, which has a provisional deadline of October 10th.

The probe will look into areas such as the appointment of Pro10 Sports Management as OCI's authorised ticket reseller for Rio 2016.

It will also review interactions between Pro10 and THG (a separate ticketing company) in relation to OCI’s ticket allocation, and OCI’s interactions with THG.