Fine Gael TD for Dublin North West Noel Rock has this morning urged Minister Shane Ross to “get tough” with the Olympic Council of Ireland and its President Pat Hickey as they refuse to answer a number of important questions around the ticketing saga.

Speaking on the matter, Deputy Rock, a member of the Public Accounts Committee said: “The fact that Pat Hickey and the OCI are refusing to allow any independent oversight of their own investigation is cause for concern. Why are they so opposed to oversight and transparency? What have they got to hide? These are very real questions which now take on a sudden urgency, and on a broader level call into question governance issues within the OCI”.

Deputy Rock added: “I have full confidence in Minister Ross’ ability to get the answers we deserve and the transparency we need, and I hope that Pat Hickey and the OCI will reconsider their stance. This saga now has the potential to overshadow these games from an Irish perspective, which isn’t fair on anybody – be it families, fans or the athletes themselves. The OCI are trying to hide in the shadows of legal advice – but that’s not good enough: legal advice doesn’t preclude them from having an external individual take part in their own investigation: that’s stonewalling, plain and simple.”.

Deputy Rock concluded: “As I’ve said from the outset, either answers must be provided for the Minister or it’s absolutely a matter for the Public Accounts Committee to discuss. We need answers, the OCI’s stonewalling is both unhelpful and inappropriate. I believe Pat Hickey needs to sit down with Minister Ross and I believe Minister Ross needs to drive home both the urgency of the situation and the gravity of the situation. Ultimately, it’s time that Shane Ross got tough with the Olympic Council of Ireland”.