Sunday 20 August 2017

IABA factions set for face-off

 

The Central Council contend that, having served six years on the Board – four as an ordinary member and two as chairman – Christle’s term of office finished last October. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
The Central Council contend that, having served six years on the Board – four as an ordinary member and two as chairman – Christle’s term of office finished last October. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Sean McGoldrick

The two rival factions in Irish boxing's civil war will come face to face today at a scheduled meeting of the IABA's board of directors in the National Stadium.

David O'Brien, who has been formally endorsed as chairman of the board by the association's Central Council, will be at the meeting.

And last night he called on Joe Christle, who is still recognised as the board's chairman by Sport Ireland, to vacate the chair and allow another member of the board to chair the meeting.

O'Brien and his supporters, including current IABA president Pat Ryan, contend that the Waterford official was elected as the new board chairman at a meeting in March.

This view is strongly disputed by Christie and IABA chief Fergal Carruth.

"Hopefully we can have a constructive meeting and make progress," suggested O'Brien, who said he considered himself to be the chairman-elect of the board.

The Central Council contend that, having served six years on the Board - four as an ordinary member and two as chairman - Christle's term of office finished last October.

This is contradicted by Christle, who says he has received legal advice to support his position.

In the event of tonight's meeting ever getting off the ground, the draft of the IABA's proposed new rule book will be the next source of conflict.

The Board of Directors has indicated that they plan to adopt the new rule book in order to adhere to the June 30 deadline handed down by Sport Ireland rather than risking having their state funding suspended.

According to O'Brien, however, only ordinary members of the Association can adopt a new rule book - and by a two-thirds majority at an EGM.

Turmoil

The degree of turmoil within the organisation was underlined last night when Central Council member Paddy Barnes Snr - father of double Olympic bronze medallist Paddy Barnes - called on Ryan to "take full responsibility" for the current crisis within the organisation and resign immediately.

In an interview with RTé, Barnes said the core of the problem was the desire of elected Central Council representatives to retain power rather than cede it to full-time officials like CEO Fergal Carruth and new High Performance director Bernard Dunne.

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