There has been widespread criticism of an interview on the 'Marian Finucane Show' this morning with the family lawyer for OCI President Pat Hickey, who is in jail in Brazil after being charged with involvement in touting tickets at the Rio Olympic Games.
Social media was not particularly enamored with Finucane's description of Hickey's situation as "heartbreaking" nor the lack of hard questions Finucane asked of Anne Marie James, the Hickey family lawyer. James made the rather bold claim that: "it could be you or I who are in that situation".
There was no picture of him with schoolchildren as he handed out scholarships. There has been a very one-sided-in my mind-hate fest.
People would have understood that they are a family and that this man is a father and a grandfather and he could be anyone’s father.
James outlined a concern that "the drip feeding of information in a situation where he is gagged and has no opportunity to respond" has "denied" Hickey's right to "a fair trial"-indeed, she called what Hickey is currently going through "trial by media".
Voices on Irish twitter, by and large, were less sympathetic.
Official Ireland circling the wagons around Pat Hickey. #marian
— Kieran Cunningham (@KCsixtyseven) August 27, 2016
Why does #marian let this solicitor ramble on without refuting her claims and biased defence of Pat Hickey. Poor journalism.
— Séamus Kearney (@SeamusjKearney) August 27, 2016
There was also incredulity at James' claim that she did not represent Hickey personally, given her apparent sympathy towards his plight.
The lawyer, who has specifically said she does NOT represent Pat Hickey & cant speak for him, is now talking about nothing else. #Marian
— @sinead_ryan (@sinead_ryan) August 27, 2016
This is not the first time RTE has been criticised for not asking hard questions regarding the OCI ticket affair. The state broadcaster was forced to defend itself after choosing not to ask one of its guest panelists during Rio, Sonia O'Sullivan, about the investigation-despite O'Sullivan being an OCI committee member.
See also: A 'Degrading And Humiliating' Ordeal - Pat Hickey's Family Release Statement On His Detention