The Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) have issued a statement in response to Minister Jack Chambers’ comments on RTÉ’s Today with Claire Byrne show yesterday.
The Minister warned there would be ‘immediate and severe financial sanctions’ if the organisation didn’t implement the recommendations in a recently commissioned independent report.
The report has suggested adopting a new structure within IABA which would include a new 12-member Board of Directors to oversee its running, half of which would be independent. The IABA said it is ‘acutely aware’ of the need for reform in the organisation but said there was ‘staunch opposition’ to some of the proposed reforms in the report among some members.
“The IABA is acutely aware of the need for reform in the volunteer structures of the association. The Minister’s comments will serve to focus minds on the gravity of the choice facing Irish boxing – to evolve into an association with the highest standards of governance, or to reject reform and face damaging constraints on our sport.
“The scale of reform recommended in the report is profound and impacts virtually all areas of operation of the volunteer structures of the association.
“IABA’s ability to implement the required reforms is contingent upon a democratic ballot of boxing clubs and their members. IABA is already aware of staunch opposition among some long-standing volunteer members to the primary recommendations proposed in the review.
“The IABA hopes that the minister’s comments today on the immediacy and severity of financial sanctions will give those members pause and motivate them to think on what is in the best interests of the sport they love."
The IABA also reiterated their hope that former High Performance Director Bernard Dunne would reconsider his resignation. Dunne stepped down from his role earlier this month after he had lodged a complaint with the IABA CEO Fergal Carruth in November.
He said his position had been undermined after an unsigned SWOT analysis which was critical of him was circulated at board level and which he considered to be highly damaging to his position.
“The IABA notes the Minister’s comments on the resignation of Bernard Dunne as High Performance Director. IABA asked Bernard to reconsider his resignation, a request reiterated at last Monday’s board meeting. IABA considers the anonymous document disseminated in February of 2021 to be a malicious and appalling attack on a member of staff.”