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Important motion to kick-start reforms within IABA requires ‘75 per cent’ backing

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Boxing gloves lined up at the National Stadium, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE

Boxing gloves lined up at the National Stadium, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE

Boxing gloves lined up at the National Stadium, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE

The cornerstone motion aimed at kick-starting a programme of reform in the troubled Irish Athletic Boxing Association will require backing from three-quarters of the voting delegates at next Sunday’s extraordinary AGM in Roscommon.

A spokesperson for the IABA said: “75% approval in the relevant vote will be required to pass motions at the EGM.”

Organisationally the IABA operates as a limited company so changes in its constitution require the approval of a 75 percent majority.

The key motion is a proposal to reform the organisation’s Board of Directors with six new directors including the chairman being appointed by an outside independent body.

The stakes couldn’t be higher for Ireland’s most successful Olympic sport.

According to a report in the Sunday Independent, Sports Minister Jack Chambers will tell IABA chiefs at a meeting tomorrow that governing funding will be cut by 15 percent as early as next week with all state funding withdrawn by next year unless they agree to major reforms.

However, the intervention as gone down like a lead balloon with rank and file officials who are at pains to point out that only a tiny fraction of the government grant goes to clubs.

Even those who back the reform measures, prepared by high-performance expert Brian MacNeice concede that the 75 percent pass threshold means the motions faces a significant hurdle on Sunday.

“Rather that persuade delegates to support the motion the Minister’s intervention will galvanise the opposition to it,” according to one source.

Though the MacNeice report includes more than 60 recommendations only one, relating to the composition of the Board of Directors will be debated on Sunday.

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The second motion is a procedural issue which would allow the IABA to hold its AGM anywhere on the island of Ireland rather than in the 26 counties.

The IABA received over €2.3m in state funding last year including a once off Covid payment of €510,00.

The bulk of the government grant is spend on funding the High Performance programme as well as the administration arm of the IABA. Provincial Councils, County Boards and clubs largely fund themselves.

Earlier this year the IABA announced that all affiliated clubs in the Republic were being gifted equipment worth €1,000. According to the IABA this project was made possible through the IABA’s successful application to Sport Ireland’s Targeted Equipment grant scheme.

Overall, however boxing clubs fares poorly in terms of securing a slice of government funding.

In the 2020 capital sports programme details of which were announced in March, boxing projects received grants totalling €360,680 out of a total allocation of €143.8m.

Sunday’s EGM will take place in Hannon’s Hotel in County Roscommon. Each registered boxing club is entitled to nominate two registered members to attend- but only one of them can vote. The quorum is 60.

The final item of the agenda, the long awaited announcement of the results of the election for IABA President and officers of Central Council is much anticipated.

Voting took place in November, but the announcement was delayed pending the outcome of an appeal by 25 members of the association – a number were candidates in the contest – against a decision to expel them from the IABA. All the members won their case.

Most interest centres on the outcome of the Presidential contest between the long serving out-going President Dominic O’Rourke and the Munster Council President Gerry O’Mahony.


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