Boxing Gloves

Sport Ireland Statement on IABA EGM

11 Jul 2022
David Gash
International, Local, National

Sport Ireland has expressed its disappointment at the failure of the membership of the Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) to make vital changes to the organisation’s governance at yesterday’s EGM.

Commenting on the outcome of the EGM, Sport Ireland Chief Executive Dr Una May said: “Both Sport Ireland and Minister Chambers have been absolutely clear with the Board and Executive of the IABA that serious and significant consequences would follow in the event of the IABA’s own governance report not being adopted in full.

“Sport Ireland notes the strong turnout of clubs at the EGM and the strength of opinions expressed. That level of engagement and debate is welcome. That said,  the issues of substance in the IABA Governance Review must be addressed. They cannot be set aside when, in fact, implementing the 64 recommendations within the report would tackle many of the concerns expressed by the clubs. There is a consensus on the need for reform and that must be the immediate focus of everyone in the IABA now.”

With immediate effect, a 15% reduction in the IABA’s Core funding for 2022 will be implemented.

Furthermore, Sport Ireland will be implementing a suite of financial sanctions on the IABA until such time as the serious outstanding governance issues go unresolved.

This includes a monthly payment schedule which addresses operational and staffing costs only, and the exclusion of the IABA and its clubs from other grant schemes run by Sport Ireland.  In the interest of minimising the already significant impact on athletes, this excludes services provided through the Sport Ireland Institute.

The sanctions will not have any impact on direct athlete funding delivered through Sport Ireland’s international carding scheme.

Dr May continued: “Sport Ireland and the Minister have outlined to the Board & Executive of the IABA that it will now be required to present to Sport Ireland a comprehensive plan for real and meaningful governance reform within two months. Failing this, further sanctions will be implemented. The two-month window is an opportunity for the IABA to recast its own future. A lot of the groundwork has been done and it is up to the leadership now in place to see if it can unify the sport and move beyond the current conflicts.

“It is important to stress that this is not solely about financial implications. The area of most concern here is the future of the sport of boxing in Ireland. All members of the sport here deserve an organisation that is run to the highest of standard and making the best decisions possible for that membership; this is not currently the case.

“Sport Ireland remains available to Board and Executive of the IABA to provide them with any support necessary to make the necessary changes to address the outstanding governance issues.”

Yesterday’s EGM of the IABA also saw the rejection of a proposal to permit Annual General Meetings and Emergency General Meetings to be held in Northern Ireland in the future.

Dr May added: “Sport Ireland is also concerned about the negative vote in relation to the technical issue on IABA meetings in Northern Ireland. It is our view that this sends out a very negative signal about unity, particularly in a sport which has long and positive history as an all-island body.”