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Candidate for IABA vice-presidency lodges appeal against expulsion

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A general view of the National Stadium during last month's IABA National Elite Boxing Championships finals. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

A general view of the National Stadium during last month's IABA National Elite Boxing Championships finals. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

A general view of the National Stadium during last month's IABA National Elite Boxing Championships finals. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

One of the five candidates in the forthcoming Irish Amateur Boxing Association’s elections who was expelled from the organisation has lodged an appeal.

Tom Ward, who is standing for vice-president, is expected to have his case heard tomorrow before Sports Dispute Solutions Ireland, a not-for-profit dispute resolution service for Irish sport.

Essentially this is a test case with the outcome likely to determine the fate of the other 24 members who were banished in the wake of a ruling by an independent membership review panel.

The panel upheld a decision made by the organisation’s Central Council to remove ‘certain named individuals’ from membership of the IABA.

There is an urgency about the case involving the five election candidates. Balloting is currently underway with the results due to be announced at the Association’s AGM in Belfast on Sunday week.dd

The IABA announced on Thursday that the AGM is going ahead as scheduled.

It is not known what grounds Mr Ward will base his appeal on.

However, apparent inconsistencies in how the officials chosen to be expelled have now emerged.

In the case of the Connacht Council the ten members including County Board representatives present at the meeting where it was decided to withdraw support from the officers board of the Central Council have had their membership withdrawn. The secretary of the Council who wasn’t present at the meeting was not sanctioned.

Since that meeting a new officer board has been elected and newcomers have not been suspended.

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However, in the case of the Leinster Council, the IABA suspended the board elected at its annual general meeting in September.

The Central Council voted a month earlier on August 29 to remove ‘certain named individuals’ from membership of the organisation.

Tom Ward was not a member of the Leinster Council executive on August 29. He was only elected in September, but still had his membership revoked.

In the case of the five Dublin Board officials suspended, Philip Keogh is listed as vice-president, a position he doesn’t hold. He is the medical officer of the Board and was not a member of the executive when the decision was taken to withdraw support from the IABA executive.

At least two of the 25 named in documents as being suspended have not received any notification of the decision.

In reply to queries, Sport Ireland said they are aware of the decision of the IABA’s independent membership review panel.

“As per the rules of the IABA, such decisions are open to appeal through the independent and arbitration service Sports Disputes Solution Ireland,” a statement read.

“As such, Sport Ireland will not be in a position to provide further comment that may impact the outcome of such a process should it be initiated.”

Meanwhile, the Leader of the Seanad, Senator Regina Doherty has written to the Minister for Sport Jack Chambers about the ongoing controversies in the IABA.

For two occasions this week, Senator Micheál Carrigy raised IABA issues during Order of Business. On Tuesday he highlighted the fact that two Leinster underage championships took place last weekend in two different counties.

Seeking intervention from Minister of State Chambers, Senator Carrigy said: “My own opinion is that a massive change needs to be made within that organisation (the IABA).”

On Thursday he highlighted the fact that the IABA had suspended a number of people who had been nominated by their clubs in take part in elections.

“I really think that Munster Chambers needs to take hold of this. We live in a democracy and in any sports organisation or in any political organisation it is fed by the members up as regards who runs the organisation. It is not a dictatorship we live in. I just want to highlight this situation. It needs to be dealt with. It is outrageous what is going on,” he said.

Senator Doherty said she had been in touch with Minister Chambers after Senator Carrigy’s contribution on Tuesday and she would be getting back to him again after Thursday’s debate.


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