Search icon

World of Sport

28th Jun 2017

Pat Hickey tells Newstalk that Shane Ross “scarpered back home” from Rio

"There's not a doubt about it that I was absolutely humiliated and treated in a disgraceful manner on my arrest."

Conor Heneghan

Hickey made the claims in a revealing interview on Newstalk on Wednesday.

Pat Hickey says that current Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross “scarpered back home” rather than looking after “a fellow citizen and human being” and showing “some humanity” following Hickey’s arrest in Rio de Janeiro last summer.

The story of Hickey’s arrest as part of an investigation into alleged ticket touting made headlines in Ireland and beyond last August and the former Olympic Council of Ireland President expressed disappointment at the reaction of Ross, who was present in Rio at the time.

“In the short term he was in office, I’ve always had a good relationship with him as a Minister of Sport,” Hickey told Paul Williams in an interview on Newstalk Breakfast on Monday.

Clip via Newstalk

“I do note, and I checked this with my colleagues in the OCI, he never made any enquiries into my condition,” Hickey added.

“I would have thought that a Minister of Sport – and I’m one of the highest office holders of sport in Ireland – that he would have taken due care and attention to look after a fellow citizen and a fellow human, and to show some humanity.

“But as I said, he scarpered back home, and I was left to my own devices with my legal team to set me free.”

While Hickey could not go into details about the case as it is still in front of the courts in Rio, he maintains that he is “totally innocent” and is confident he will escape charges.

“I’d like to just emphasise that I am totally innocent of all these charges, and I will be proven innocent, and my legal team in Brazil are working flat out,” Hickey said.

“The judge of the high court of Brazil said I should never, ever have been arrested and put in prison.”

Hickey, who remains the Irish member of the International Olympic Committee, said that he was “absolutely humiliated” by the manner of his arrest and claims he was treated in a “disgraceful manner”.

He added that the episode had a “devastating effect” on himself and his family and that his legal team had kept a record of the criticism he received during his detention in Brazil.

“There’s not a doubt about it that I was absolutely humiliated and treated in a disgraceful manner on my arrest. Everyone in the world saw, the media were at the door,” Hickey said.

“This has left a devastating effect on my family – on my wife, on my children… devastating. It’s affected my own health. As a result of all this stress, I now have a heart problem, and I have had two medical procedures.

“Lots of people said many things about me when I was away. My legal team have kept a record and a track of everything.

“When I clear my name, I’ll spend some time reading over all those.”

You can listen to Pat Hickey’s interview with Paul Williams on Newstalk Breakfast in full here.