Enough is enough – time for Shane Ross to get out of the limelight

17 August 2016

Over recent weeks, the Irish people have been subjected to a steady stream of allegations regarding ticket sales at the Rio Olympics. Following the arrest of Pat Hickey this morning, the reputational damage to Ireland is only increasing, according to Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin.

“At the start of this fiasco, Shane Ross went mysteriously quiet. Then his efforts to insert himself into the Olympic Council of Ireland’s investigation were rebuffed. Following the arrest of Pat Hickey, he has been reduced to tweeting to let us know his state of shock.

“It has become abundantly clear that Shane Ross’ only interest in this matter is in trying to keep his own hands clean. And it’s equally clear that he has little understanding of the job he was appointed to do.

“The Olympic Council of Ireland is funded by the Sports Council. And under the Sports Council Act 1999, that body is empowered to request any information it wishes from bodies in receipt of funding, and may withhold funding if this information is not received.

“Pat Hickey is entitled to due process, but as Ireland’s reputation suffers further damage, it is about time that Shane Ross got out of the way and tasked the Sports Council with taking ownership of this issue. They should be immediately mandated to request all relevant information allowing them to carry out a full and independent investigation of this case, and to suspend all funding to OCI until this investigation is carried out.

“There will be opportunities in the future for Oireachtas committees or other forums to further examine the extraordinary events that have taken place in Rio. For now we need Minister Ross, who has achieved absolutely nothing to date on this matter, to get the Sports Council doing the job it was created to do.”

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