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Irish Athletic Boxing Association invited to appear before Dail Committee


Fergal Carruth

Fergal Carruth

Fergal Carruth

The Irish Athletic Boxing Association have been invited to appear before a top level Dail Committee next month.

The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport, Gaeltacht and Media want to speak to the IABA leadership on a range of governance issues.

A spokesman for Sport Ireland confirmed this afternoon that they too will be meeting the Dail committee on November 3.

Longford Fine Gael Senator Micheál Carrigy has been seeking to have representatives of the IABA to appear before the committee for several months.

The hearing was originally scheduled for September 29. But in a letter to committee chair Niamh Smyth TD, the chief executive of the IABA, Fergal Carruth, requested that the meeting be deferred as the association were then preparing to host the Elite finals, the first boxing competition to be held in Ireland for 18 months.

Carruth indicated in the letter that the IABA would be very happy to attend a meeting with the committee who rescheduled it for November 3.

Even though Kellie Harrington secured a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics and Aidan Walsh won a bronze, it has been a particularly turbulent 18 months for the association.

The latest controversy centres on the selection of the team for next week’s men’s World championships in Belgrade. The four Irish male boxers who competed in Tokyo were not considered for selection.

Having initially told boxers that the High-Performance Unit had decided not to send a team, the decision was reversed after 15 boxers were accessed during a week-long training camp in Sheffield.

Seven inexperienced fighters were selected but two of Ireland’s carded fighters, Kieran Molloy and Gabriel Dossen, were not selected even though they won titles in their respective weight divisions at the National championships. They did not attend the camp in Sheffield.

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In reply to a series of questions about the controversy a spokesman for Sport Ireland said the selection of the team and the manager is a matter for the IABA as is the case for all organisations.

“That said, the CEO (Fergal Carruth) has kept Sport Ireland informed of developments as it is an important matter.

“In fairness the situation is complex as the AIBA World championships are scheduled very close to the conclusion of the Olympic Games and as the Covid-19 pandemic is ongoing. The primary concern of the IABA is the readiness of the boxers to compete. In that context the agreement to reassess the boxers after a training camp is reasonable.

“The two boxers (K. Molloy and G. Dossen) are very talented and it is to be hoped will remain in the programme for Paris 2024,” said the spokesman.

The IABA has not responded to a series of questions sent to it by email on Wednesday concerning this issue and other ongoing controversies in the organisation.

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