Who are the candidates for OCI President?

Sarah Keane, Willie O'Brien and Bernard O'Byrne are looking to succeed Pat Hickey

BY Daniel Kelly 11:07 Thursday 9 February 2017, 11:07 9 Feb 2017

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

The Olympic Council of Ireland elects a new President on Thursday night, in Dublin.

Pat Hickey's reign as OCI President officially ends, when the the election concludes in the Conrad Hotel. Sarah Keane, Willie O'Brien and Bernard O'Byrne will all battle it out to assume the title.

The new President will be the first in over almost 30 years, after Hickey assumed the position in 1989. But what do we know about all three candidates.

Sarah Keane

Keane is the CEO of Swim Ireland, and was nominated by the association ahead of the election. A member of the current OCI Committee, Keane took charge of the association ten years ago.

The former swimmer looks like the favourite to succeed Hickey. If elected, Keane would be the first woman to hold the post.

Willie O'Brien

O'Brien is the acting President of the OCI, in Hickey's absence. On paper, he is the candidate most associated with the OCI having acted as Chef de Mission in 2004 in Athens.

A former president of Archery Ireland, O'Brien was nominated for the position by that association, along with the Irish Ice Hockey Association and Irish Amateur Wrestling Association.

Bernard O'Byrne

The only candidate to have no experience in the OCI, O'Byrne is the CEO and General Secretary of Basketball Ireland. The Dubliner was the only candidate to speak to Off the Ball this week, ahead of the election.

A former CEO of the FAI, O'Byrne was nominated by Basketball Ireland for the position.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast ahead of the election, The Irish Times' Ian O'Riordan said the election will be a simple first-past-the-post process. The candidate with the most votes will win the election.

"Sarah Keane should just edge it, but I wouldn't rule out Willie [O'Brien] either", O'Riordan added. There are 44 votes available in the election. In the unlikely event that there is a tie, the casting vote will go to the President, which O'Brien currently holds in an acting capacity.


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