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Olympic Council has €300,000 funding approved on basis it's not to be used on 'legacy issues'

Last year, €300,000 of government funding was withheld.

Image: Leah Farrell

THE OLYMPIC COUNCIL of Ireland has had its funding approved for 2018 under the stipulation that any funding cannot be used towards any “legacy issues” from the past.

Last year, €300,000 of government funding was withheld pending the outcome of the Moran Inquiry into the ticketing scandal at the 2016 Rio Games and the implementation of a report into the OCI.

Justice Carroll Moran’s report publication found that throughout the Rio Games there were multiple issues with Ireland’s Authorised Ticket Reseller (ATR) Pro10 and the oversight of the OCI.

However, funding was later restored as Sport Ireland, which administers the monetary awards, said it was satisfied that the OCI is spending funds on athlete-related activities only.

The Board of Sport Ireland approved the OCI’s application for funding at its meeting on 10 July, stating it engaged extensively with the OCI’s new chief executive Sarah Keane throughout this process.

‘Legacy issues’

In correspondence with Social Democrat’s TD Catherine Murphy, Sport Ireland said it “stipulated that any funding cannot be used towards any legacy issues and the OCI are in agreement with this policy”.

Funding provided by Sport Ireland to the OCI for 2016 amounted to €497,248. Last year, it received €300,000. Another €300,000 has been allocated for 2018.

Murphy told said she was satisfied with the assurances from Sport Ireland in relation to the monies being spent appropriately.

“I see this is as a safety issue in terms of having that stipulation included,” said Murphy, who added:

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“We don’t want to inhibit the OCI here and their focus on the next Olympics. This will now allow the organisation to function, while ensuring that there is satisfactory safeguarding of public money.

“It is right to  have the legacy issue stipulation as it will not allow it to impede the function of the OCI.”

This year’s funding will be used to provide a sports budget that underpins the range of OCI activities for athletes.

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