Dáil committee call IABA in for questioning

A Dáil committee are interested in putting questions to the Irish Athletic Boxing Association and will invite the leadership to make an appearance before them.

The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport, Gaeltacht and Media are keen to interview the IABA board and an ‘invitation’ to appear has been sent.

Well-sourced journalist Sean McGoldrick confirmed in the Independent today that Longford-based Fine Gael senator Micheál Carrigy had proposed as much.

The committee members should confirm a date for the hearing tomorrow.

The IABA last appeared in front of a Dáil committee in October 2015 when they were questioned regarding Billy Walsh’s high-profile departure. Walsh has overseen just shy of 70 major medal wins during his time in the role and could be one of the big Irish success stories in the Tokyo Olympics as the man in charge of Team USA.

There has been constant conflict and at times even controversy over the six years since with things worsening over the last 12 months or so.

Billy McClean, who oversaw 79 major underage medal wins, departed the IABA under a cloud, causing a stir in the process.

There was then a formal request made to the the Minster for Sport to carry out a full governance review of the IABA.

Catherine Martin had been asked to intervene as it appeared relations between the IABA Board of Directors and IABA Central Council have become severely fractured. As a result, Fine Gael Minister of State Peter Burke has requested the Minister of Sport carry out a full governance review of the IABA.

.More recently question marks were raised with regard to Bernard Dunne’s leadership and his role as High Performance Director. Indeed, the IABA and Sport Ireland have hit out at a ‘Position Paper’ sent to every IABA member questioning the Dubliner’s capabilities and the High Performance structure in general.

There has been additional fighting over clubs allegedly breaking COVID regulations and a nigh-on two year delay of elections for two new directors.

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com