AmateurHeadline News

Irish boxing has funding cut by Sport Ireland following Olympic disaster

The Irish High Performance Unit has seen its funding cut at an institutional and individual level following the medal-less Olympic Games in Rio last year.

Ireland brought a qualification-era record number of boxers to the Games, 8, but left Brazil with no medals.

Today Sport Ireland released their damning Rio Review, which highlighted the issues with the Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) and presented 30 recommendations going forward.

Along with the Rio Review, Sport Ireland also announced their funding for Irish National Governing Bodies and High Performance Units for 2017, with Irish boxing seeing a drop of over €400,000.

There is no change to the IABA’s governing body funding, and they will again receive €432,000.

However, the funding for the High Performance Unit has been cut by €200,000. Last year the HPU received €900,000, but will be given €700,000 for 2017, a drop of 22%.

In addition to this, just six Irish boxers will receive grants, compared to 14 last year.

Obviously there are the pro moves of Mick Conlan, Paddy Barnes, and Katie Taylor, along with the retirement of Adam Nolan. Nevertheless, there has been a definite tightening of criteria, with Ireland’s Olympians and 2016 major international medalists the only boxers funded.

The fighters funded for this year are:

Podium – Joe Ward €40,000
World Class – Brendan Irvine €20,000
World Class – Steven Donnelly €20,000
World Class – David Oliver Joyce €20,000
World Class – Kelly Harrington €20,000
International – Christina Desmond €12,000
TOTAL – €132,000

By comparison, the fighters funded last year were:

Podium – Brendan Irvine €40,000
Podium – Katie Taylor €40,000
Podium – Joe Ward €40,000
Podium – Paddy Barnes €40,000
Podium – Michael O’Reilly €40,000
Podium – Michael Conlan €40,000
World Class – Steven Donnelly €20,000
World Class – Dean Walsh €20,000
World Class – Sean McComb €20,000
World Class – David Oliver Joyce €20,000
International – Dean Gardiner €12,000
International – Darren O’Neill €12,000
International – Adam Nolan €12,000
International – Ceire Smith €12,000
TOTAL – €368,000

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: