Harrington says Irish Team miss Bernard Dunne ‘terribly’
Ireland’s Elite boxers miss Bernard Dunne ‘terribly’ according to Kellie Harrington.
Dunne’s position as High Performance Director had been questioned in the build-up to the most recent Olympics, an Olympics which resulted in two more boxing medals, including Harrington’s gold.
An unsigned SWOT analysis calling for his immediate departure circulated prior to Tokyo. The former world champion then lodged a complaint with IABA CEO Fergal Carruth after the summer games, claiming his position was being undermined.
The Dubliner has been on leave since and wasn’t in position when IABA and Sport Ireland officials appeared before a joint Oireachtas committee hearing in November.
The IABA have since confirmed he remains on leave and Harrington revealed he is missed.
“Look, nothing ever runs smoothly in Irish boxing, does it? I’d be the first to put my hand up and say that,” said the Olympic gold medal winner.
“But what I will say is, we miss Bernard, we miss him terribly. I miss him as a friend and as someone who I can always look to for sound advice, and in those moments when I’m feeling doubtful about myself, Bernard is always there to steer you on the right path.”
“He is on continuing leave. The IABA does not comment on individual contractual or staffing matters,” a short statement from the IABA said.
Harrington has deliberately avoided all in-fighting reports and admits she has had her arguments with Dunne but does believe he has had a positive impact and she hopes he remains in the role.
Speaking previously she said: “Being very honest, I haven’t read a thing about it. What I will say though is that, while I’ve been involved in the high performance since Bernard has come in, female boxing has definitely been impacted massively, and all for good,” she said at an event that confirmed a new three-year partnership with Spar.
“I can only speak well of Bernard – we do have our tit-for-tat moments but we always air them out. He’s a person you can approach and whatever he does will be right for him, but I hope that we don’t lose him.”