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Shane Ross says Pat Hickey "ate me for breakfast" during infamous Rio meeting

Ross said he was left “battered and bruised” after the meeting.

Ross has spoken openly about meeting Hickey in Rio.
Ross has spoken openly about meeting Hickey in Rio.

SPORTS MINISTER SHANE Ross has said that Pat Hickey “ate me for breakfast” at their infamous Rio meeting before the arrest of the ex-Olympic boss.

After Ross travelled to Brazil during the Rio games last month, he met with the former president of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) to discuss the developing ticket scandal

Ross wanted an independent person on the OCI’s inquiry into the controversy but Hickey refused point-blank to allow this, something that Ross said at the time had left him “stunned”.

After Hickey’s arrest by Brazilian police investigating ticket touting, it emerged that Hickey had been advised by a colleague before the meeting with Ross to put the minister “back in his box”.

Speaking about the meeting on last night’s RTÉ Late Late Show, Ross said bluntly that he was indeed bested by Hickey during that meeting.

“He certainly put me back in my box that night, because he gave me absolutely no information whatsoever,” the minister said.

Asked was this embarrassing for him, Ross said that it was:

I suppose in a way it was but I’d heard that he’d bested several Cabinet ministers before, he wasn’t very fond of Cabinet ministers. He ate us for breakfast and he did eat me for breakfast that day.

Giving further details about the meeting, Ross said that from Hickey’s point-of-view he “did very well”.

Source: The Late Late Show/YouTube

“He got what he want of it, that meeting, which was nothing,” Ross said.

“He said ‘no, he wasn’t going to answer any questions about getting an independent on the board of his inquiry’. I came out pretty battered and bruised having achieved very little in that meeting.”

Asked specifically about his request of Hickey that an independent person be put on the inquiry, Ross said that Hickey’s response was “no way”

“It was quite extraordinary. He (Hickey) said that his lawyers had advised him that there was no way we could have an independent on that inquiry.”

“Lawyers to my mind don’t normally advise that but that’s what he said. He also said that he couldn’t answer any of the questions whatsoever, which I’d sent him in advance, about the activities that were going on. So I met a brick wall, a complete and utter brick wall.”

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Read: Pat Hickey’s family says he’s receiving ‘necessary support’ from Irish Government >

Read: Pat Hickey says he will stay in Rio to fight charges after being released from prison >

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Rónán Duffy

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