50 young boxer’s Irish title hopes are the latest casualty of the Civil War – IABA Statement

The IABA have this evening released a statement after it emerged up to 50 young aspiring boxers Irish title dreams have become the latest casualty of the ongoing ‘civil war’.

The latest battle in a bloody in-house war sees boxers from 21 clubs denied the chance to compete in this weekend’s All-Ireland championships.

The National Boy/Girl 1&2 Championships are set to take place in Drimnagh Boxing Club -the National Stadium is unavailable because of a panto – this weekend but a large number of aspiring 12 and 13-year-old boxers will not be permitted to compete.

Sean McGoldrick reported as much in the Independent yesterday and the IABA confirmed it is indeed the case in a statement this afternoon.

The decision has its roots in a fallout between the Central Council and the Leinster Council, Connacht Council and the Dublin board. After the three aforementioned branches withdrew support for the governing body this summer – because of a delay in appointing two new directors as agreed in the 2019 AGM- the IABA revoked their membership from the organisation.

That lead to separate Boy/Girl 1&2 Leinster Championships early last month, one playing out in Athy and one in Arklow.

Ten clubs entered boxers into the IABA’s Athy hosted event, while 21 clubs competed in Arklow and the event run by the Leinster Council.

The IABA claim they forewarned that the winners in Arklow would not be allowed to enter this weekend’s All Ireland Championships.

They gave their account of proceedings today and tried to explain their rationale behind the expulsion of up to 50 young fighters.

The Statement reads as follows:

In late May/early June, three units within the IABA, namely Leinster Provincial, Connacht Provincial Council and Dublin County Board, decided to withdraw from Central Council, the body empowered by the rules of the organisation with ensuring Provincial Councils, County Boards and their Clubs are acting in accordance with the Rules and the Constitution and are managing their affairs correctly (Rule 16 (i)). All three units were communicated with and advised of the negative impact these unprecedent decisions could have on the officers/members involved and also of the negative impact their decisions could have on boxing within the three regions. Despite this, the officers/members of these three units decided to continue to act outside the legally establish governance structure of the IABA (as defined in Rule 10 of the IABA Rulebook) and to ignore the instructions issued by a superior body.

The Boy/Girl 1 & 2 Leinster Provincial Championships, which is a qualification tournament for the Boy/Girl 1 & 2 National Championships took place at St. Michael’s Boxing Club, Athy. The Leinster Provincial Championship is the only route to qualification for the National Championships from this provincial unit.

The tournament in St. Michael’s Boxing Club, Athy, was organised by the Central Council, following an indication by the then Leinster Provincial Council that it would not stage a Boy/Girl 1 & 2 National Championships qualification tournament.

It was open to all affiliated clubs in Leinster to afford their boxers the opportunity to qualify for the National Championships by entering their boxers in the Boy/Girl 1 & 2 Leinster Provincial Championships, staged at St. Michael’s Boxing Club, Athy.

The Central Council is aware that an event, took place at Arklow Boxing Club on the same weekend as the Boy/Girl 1 & 2 Leinster Provincial Championships. This unprecedented event, which was not organised or approved by the Central Council, was not a route to qualification for the National Championships. Clubs which entered boxers in the Wicklow event, and chose for their boxers not to contest the Boy/Girl 1 & 2 Leinster Provincial Championships in Kildare, were aware that their boxers would not qualify for the Boy/Girl 1 & 2 National Championships.

The Central Council Officer Board advised the host club, Arklow BC, and the Wicklow County Board, prior to the holding of the event that it did not fall within the approved competition structures or pathways.

Text of that correspondence, issued on 12/11/21:

“We are just writing to inform you that any event held in your club/county under the guise of ‘Leinster Championships’ is illegal.

In the event that some boxer gets injured, you are being made aware now that your club/county board is not covered under IABA insurance and all costs will fall back on the person(s) responsible for opening the club for such an event.

The Officer Board of the IABA are organising the Leinster Championships for Boy/Girl 1 & 2 and the winners of this event will be the only recognised entrants to a National competition. It is essential that all clubs in Leinster are informed and made aware of this fact prior to them entering any potential event insofar as they won’t be permitted to go forward to the National Championships. Club coaches must then accept responsibility for their decision in light of all pertinent information being made available to them.”

Unlike the events in Leinster and Connacht, the Dublin Championships proceeded. As such there was no need for the Central Council to intervene. Further, Central Council were informed that no officers whose membership was removed would be involved in the running of the queried championship.

The Central Council takes no pleasure from the current situation, however, it is important to note, the juncture we now find ourselves at is a direct consequences of the unprecedented and ill-advised decisions taken by the aforementioned units.

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