IABA Reject Government Reform Proposals

Minister for Sport Jack Chambers is very disappointed the Irish Athletic Boxing Association rejected proposed governance reforms this weekend.

Despite a warning from the Minister that funding would be cut if reform didn’t take place, the IABA members overwhelmingly voted against the proposal at an emergency general meeting in Co Roscommon.

The result means an immediate 15% cut in funding to the IABA and also means clubs will not be able to access certain grants.

A statement from the IABA reads as follows:

Irish Boxing has spoken today and has said no to a proposal to reconstitute the Board of the IABA and have said no to permitting annual and extraordinary general meetings in Northern Ireland.

Motion One proposed expanding the board from its current 10 members to 12. This newly constituted board would include 6 independent members, along with athlete and coach representatives, whilst also addressing the lack of female representation on the board. The new board would then be tasked with deciding how to deal with the remaining recommendations in the recently published IABA Governance Review.

39% of affiliated boxing clubs registered to send voting delegates. 105 voting delegates attended today’s meeting. They represent 31% of clubs and voted against Motion One, by 80 votes to 25.

Chairperson, Ciaran Kirwan, says “The results of the vote on Motion One are extremely disappointing, and require a period of reflection in order to fully understand club’s reasons to vote no, in the knowledge of the implications of that decision. .

The Minister for Sport met with the Board of Directors on Wednesday. He informed the Board that a decision to reject this change will mean an immediate 15% cut in funding to the IABA, beginning this month. The IABA and clubs will not be able to access Dormant Accounts funding, or Sports Capital & Equipment Grants. Funding through local authorities will be curtailed and an increasing level of funding cuts will be introduced over the coming months. Sport Ireland Return to Sport grants, which this year enabled the IABA to pay the full insurance and affiliation costs for every affiliated club in Ireland, will no longer be available. This information was shared with clubs, county boards and provincial units in advance of today’s meeting.

CEO, Fergal Carruth says The Ministers message was very clear and Boxing clubs may very soon find their ability to access local authority grants, and other funding, severely curtailed. This decision will potentially adversely impact clubs and boxers. The IABA Board and executive team will continue to work towards engaging with our stakeholders to attempt to resolve this as a matter of urgency.”

The second motion laid before delegates was one to allow AGM or EGM to take place anywhere on the island of Ireland. Delegates voted against that motion, by a margin of 68 in favour to 35 against. This decision will have long-lasting implications for the unity of Irish Boxing.

Chairman,Ciaran Kirwan “I am deeply troubled by the result on Motion Two. Those who voted against it need to examine why they are seeking to place Ulster clubs on a separate footing to those in the 26 counties. Ulster has long been a hub of boxing excellence, and has produced Olympic medallists, World and European champions. I am shocked that clubs would decide against Boxing being a truly all island sport.”

CEO, Fergal Carruth, says “It is difficult to understand how so many delegates voted against this motion in circumstances where not one single delegate spoke against the motion. The message it sends to the Ulster Boxing Council, clubs in the North of Ireland and our boxers, is a stark one. It is imperative that the Board engage and consult with our membership to get to the route of the reasons behind this decision.

The third item before the delegates in Roscommon today was the results of the Central Council election.

Chairperson, Ciaran Kirwan, says “My congratulations to members of the Central Council, whether returning or newly elected, and the deepest thanks from all in Irish Boxing to those whose time on the council has concluded.

The Board of Directors will convene shortly to discuss today’s EGM, and the implications of the delegates decision to vote against re-constituting the board. The board remains available to engage with the Minister for Sport and Sport Ireland on these matters but will issue no further comment until it has met. 

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