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Leading boxing officials face IABA expulsion over support row


File photo of Irish Amateur Boxing Association title belts. Credit: Sportsfile

File photo of Irish Amateur Boxing Association title belts. Credit: Sportsfile

File photo of Irish Amateur Boxing Association title belts. Credit: Sportsfile

The Central Council of the Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) has passed a vote of no confidence in the officer boards of the organisation’s Leinster and Connacht provincial councils as well as the Dublin County Board. Furthermore, they want to terminate the officers’ membership of the IABA.

The officials were given seven days to resign. The deadline passes today.

The Irish Independent has established that none of the officers involved will be leaving their positions voluntarily.

This is a major escalation in an internal row which has been ongoing since the spring of 2020.

Boxers from Dublin, the rest of Leinster and Connacht will be allowed to fight in the forthcoming Elite championships, despite the threat hanging over their parent bodies.

In June, the two provincial councils and the Dublin board effectively withdrew their backing of the Central Council over a delay in electing two new members to the IABA’s board of directors.

Current IABA board member Andrew Duncan, who is also chairman of the Leinster Council, the president of the Dublin board Art O’Brien and the president of the Connacht Council, Fiona Hennigan, are among the high-profile officers who face the prospect of effectively being expelled from the association.

“I have no intention of resigning, I did nothing wrong,” said Hennigan.

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She pointed out that the Connacht Council had never withdrawn their support for the Central Council. Instead, they had withdrawn their support for the officer board.

O’Brien declined to comment while Duncan said he had chaired a full meeting of the Leinster Council during which a motion was passed to withdraw support from the Central Council until the election of two new members of the IABA went ahead.

“I was merely carrying out my democratic duties,” he said.

He added it was now time for an independent review of the entire organisation to be carried out.

The decision to act against the three subsidiary bodies was discussed at a meeting of the Central Council on August 29.

According to an email issued by the national secretary of the IABA, a copy of which has been seen by the Irish Independent, “a vote of no confidence was passed in the officers of the Dublin County Board, the Leinster Provincial Council and the Connacht Provincial Councils plus any members of their councils who supported their withdrawing their support from the Central Council.

“Finally, it was passed that the Central Council would write to the board of directors stating that they want the membership of the IABA removed of all the above as the Central Council has no confidence in them and objected to their affiliation.”

According to the circular, “unfortunate steps” were taken “as a direct consequence of the decision taken by these bodies to operate outside the legally established structures of the IABA”.

In a direct message to the officials concerned, the email stated: “You are being given the opportunity to resign voluntarily and you will be given seven days to confirm same by return mail.”

Fine Gael senator Micheál Carrigy – who has been spearheading a drive to have members of the IABA officer board appear before an Oireachtas committee – has described the organisation’s threat as “outrageous”.

Yesterday he wrote to Minister of State for Sport Jack Chambers to appraise him of the crisis.

He also wrote to the chair of the joint-Oireachtas committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport, Gaeltacht and Media asking that the committee set an early date for a hearing with members of the IABA.

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