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“It is clear that something is wrong” – Senator calls for independent investigation of IABA

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The Seanad today called for an independent inquiry into the affairs of the troubled Irish Athletic Boxing Association.

exford Fianna Fail Senator Malcolm Byrne claimed that the situation at IABA “could be worse” than at the FAI.

Sport Secretary Jack Chambers has threatened to withhold funding from the organization which has lost its third High Performance Director with the recent resignation of Bernard Dunne.

Senator Byrne responded to the Minister’s comments on the agenda.

“If we listen to former coaches, but more importantly to me, some of the people involved in boxing on the ground talk about how dysfunctional this organization is, it’s clear something is wrong.”

Byrne pointed out that John Treacy, the former chief executive of Sport Ireland, stood before the Oireachtas Sport Committee last year and asked if the IABA was “another case of the FAI with some of their earlier problems”.

“He said he didn’t believe it. Honestly, based on some of the stories that are emerging now, I think it could be worse than what’s going on.

“Our sole interest should be to support young boxers and boxing clubs across the country. I think it is time that an independent person was appointed to investigate IABA and boxing in Ireland.

“It is too important a sport for this country to allow this issue to remain unresolved,” said the Wexford Senator, who has been involved in sport for a long time,” said Senator Byrne.

IABA said in a statement earlier this week that it was “very aware of the need to reform the association’s volunteer structures”.

It suggested that the Sport Minister’s statement “served to draw attention to the gravity of the choice Irish boxing faces”.

Interestingly, the minister did not mention the possibility of suspending funding for the sport’s High Performance Unit if IABA members do not accept the proposals in the McNiece report published last week.

IABA acknowledges that there is what it describes as “firm opposition from some long-time volunteer members to the main recommendations proposed in the review.”

IABA hopes the Minister’s comments “on the immediacy and severity of financial penalties will pause and motivate these members to reflect on what is in the best interests of the sport they love.”

However, all early indications are that the key recommendation in McNiece, which would seek the appointment of six independent directors to a new board that would not include the incumbent IABA President as a voting member, went down like a lead balloon with rank and file officials.

The comment in the IABA statement on the need for reform of the voluntary structures was also interpreted as a direct attack on them.

No date or location has yet been confirmed for next month’s EGM, which will vote on the board reform recommendation.

The results of the long-delayed presidential election and the Central Council board election are also to be announced at the extraordinary general meeting.

https://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/boxing/it-is-clear-that-something-is-wrong-senator-calls-for-independent-probe-into-iaba-41663836.html “It is clear that something is wrong” – Senator calls for independent investigation of IABA

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