‘It’s crazy to be at this stage’ – Bernard Dunne gets support from Billy Walsh for his resignation from his IABA position

Former IABA High Performance Director Billy Walsh, speaking on RTÉ, has lent his support to Bernard Dunne following his retirement from the same position he held in the boxing organisation.

alsh, who has been Team USA’s head coach since 2016, was speaking from Istanbul, where the AIBA Women’s World Championships are being held, and said he wanted Sport Ireland and the Irish government to step in and “hold people accountable for their actions”. Consequences of Dunne’s exit.

Dunne’s resignation as high-performance director follows a complaint he filed with IABA back in October 2021 after an unsigned SWOT analysis criticizing his performance was circulated around the association ahead of the Tokyo Games, where Ireland’s Boxer would memorably provide gold by Kellie Harrington ) and bronze by Aidan Walsh.

IABA said it “always viewed this document as malicious and a appalling attack on a staff member and the high power unit” and expressed hope that Dunne would reconsider and return to his post.

But Walsh, who stepped down from the same high-performance position in 2015, said too much damage had been done for Dunne to return, adding that the Dubliner had been in a “bad place” for months.

“I think it’s crazy to be at this stage,” Walsh said on RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live. “Three (high)achieving directors later, two meetings of the Oireachtas committee – which ended up being just technical talks – and nothing happened.

“No one has stood up and actually confronted these people. It’s a shame. This affects people’s psychological well-being.

“Sport Ireland or the Irish Government needs to stand up and hold people accountable for their actions – or their inaction.

“Leaving was so difficult for me. I’ve spent many nights crying alone. I was in Doha when I made the decision to resign.

“Mentally I was in a bad place and I know Bernard has been in a bad place for a few months because this has been like this since February 2021 and it hasn’t been resolved. Nobody stood up and supported me or supported Bernard. I think Sport Ireland has a lot to answer for.”

“The same people are there and they’re allowing it to happen — or they’re part of what’s happening.”

Part of the conflict within the IABA stems from the desire of what the IABA calls “a small cohort of the Irish boxing family” to have the selection of Team Ireland boxers for international competitions made by individuals other than high-performing personnel.

“We’ve been there since 2003,” Walsh added. “Gary Keegan (the IABA High Performance Director who preceded Walsh) had to fight all our battles from the start.

“Then I took the mantle after 2008 and Bernard took it in 2017. We all faced similar issues during that time – we weren’t allowed to do our jobs, didn’t have autonomy to do our jobs.

“There are 30 people on a central council who come to a meeting once a month and want to choose a team. It’s like the Kilkenny Borough Board selecting Brian Cody’s team.

“The leaders within the organization are the same leaders that were there when I left. The same people are there and they allow this to happen – or they are part of what is happening.”

Explaining how Dunne is handling the situation, Walsh said: “I think Bernard is in a better place now that he’s made the decision. The turmoil of leaving your dream job has been very disheartening for me and I know Bernard has had similar struggles but now he’s made the decision he’s in a better place.

“This program is at the heart of boxing. It’s about the athletes. It should be about the athletes. Unfortunately, the IABA didn’t make it to the athletes. It’s about them, it’s about their ego and it’s about their power and control.”

“At this point I don’t think he will come back. What happened took too long. (The IABA) closes the gate after the horse bolts.”

https://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/boxing/its-crazy-to-be-at-this-stage-bernard-dunne-gets-support-from-billy-walsh-for-resigning-from-his-iaba-position-41633279.html ‘It’s crazy to be at this stage’ – Bernard Dunne gets support from Billy Walsh for his resignation from his IABA position

Fry Electronics Team

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