Political Intervention – Minster for Sport takes action as IABA split worsens

A formal request has been made to the the Minster for Sport to carry out a full governance review of the IABA.

Catherine Martin has been asked to intervene as it appears a relations between the IABA Board of Directors and IABA Central Council have become severely fractured.

The now controversial departure of Billy McClean, a highly respected and successful youth coach, has sparked the latest controversy and prompted a call for action.

There were members of the Council unaware McClean had departed the role and, with no official clarification forthcoming, the rumour mill has churning out some very worrying suggestions as to what happened.

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.

READ: More from Sean McGoldrick, who has been at the forefront of this issue.

The President of the Leinster Council, Andrew Duncan, who sits on the IABA Board of Directors, had raised the issue with him.

“Due to recent negative media coverage surrounding this controversy, the sport and its participants have been brought into disrepute. This will cause long-term reputational damage should action not be taken,” suggested Burke.

The Minister of State went on: “As you will be aware, amateur boxing is extremely important to communities and plays a crucial role in the lives of many athletes, some of whom have otherwise been led down a different path in communities that often have a deficit in youth services and activities.

“These boxers need positive role models and the IABA leadership must be shown to follow all procedure and protocols to the letter of the law. We cannot expect high standards from our young athletes if leaders of the sport are not held to the same standard.

“If questions remain around governance, this may call into question funding and sponsorship which will lead to communities suffering. The knock-on effect must be avoided at all costs. I would request that you examine these recent issues and direct officials to conduct this review urgently.”

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