Sports Council ‘abandoned governance of OCI’ – Munster
Commenting after the appearance of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) and Sport Ireland at today’s meeting of the Joint Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport, Sinn Féin spokesperson for Sport Imelda Munster TD has expressed concern that a former Minister for Sport allegedly told representatives of the Irish Sports Council, which is now called Sport Ireland, ‘to have no rows’ with the OCI.
Mr Kieran Mulvey, Chairperson of Sport Ireland, also said today that Pat Hickey, the former OCI President, had had spats with, and had publicly humiliated, former Ministers and former Taoisigh, which led the Sports Council to “tread around the OCI with delicate feet”.
Mr Mulvey was answering questions on the Moran report into the Rio ticketing scandal. When questioned about the poor governance structures at the OCI Mr Mulvey disclosed that, as governing body, Sport Ireland is tasked with overseeing both the areas of governance and performance at the OCI. Mr Mulvey said that because Sport Ireland treaded carefully around the OCI, they focused on the performance side of their brief, essentially ignoring their governance role.
Deputy Munster said:
“This is further evidence of the toxic culture at the OCI, and the dysfunctional relationship between the OCI, its governing body Sport Ireland, and the Department of Sport.
“It is fair to say that the government was unwilling to tackle poor governance at the OCI. Today, we learned that the Sports Council were advised to treat the OCI with kid gloves. This contributed to the culture we now know existed at the OCI where the President, Mr Hickey, had free reign to run the organisation as he pleased, without a shred of outside oversight from the governing body.”