altMay 7 - Patrick Hickey (pictured), the president of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI), has blasted John Treacy, the chief executive of the Irish Sports Council (ISC), before an influential Oireachtas committee. 


In his opening presentation, which he insisted be read out to the Joint Committee on Sport, Hickey launched into an attack on the ISC who he blamed for Ireland’s disappointing performances in Beijing last August – despite the medal success of the boxers.


Hickey said: “It’s embarrassing to witness the limited progress made by the Sports Council over the past 14 years in the development of systems and structures to support our national federations.


"[The ISC] is “a quango that is quite prepared to bask in the glory of Ireland’s brilliant rugby Grand Slam, even though its contribution was minimal at the same time it is not short of trying to subsume Ireland’s Olympic national federations, even the OCI itself”.


Hickey, who is an influential member of the International Olympic Committee and the president of the European Olympic Committees, has long had a difficult relationship with Treacy, the 1984 Olympic marathon silver medallist, even accussing him last year of threatening him.


Hickey said:  “John Treacy says his door his open – but is there anybody inside the door?”


Hickey called on the Irish Government to establish a special London 2012 Performance Task Force to transfer funding and service budgets to the Irish Institute of Sport and the OCI and that such “urgent action is required immediately”.


Deputy Olivia Mitchell, who sits on the Committee, said: "It seems the Olympics were not at all about the athletes, but the blazers and what everyone here wants to know is how on earth we can fix this?”