Sunday 22 April 2018

Morris on brink of quitting as row deepens


Champion: Ryan Burnett. Photo: Sportsfile
Champion: Ryan Burnett. Photo: Sportsfile

Al Morris, secretary of the Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA), could resign after the row engulfing Irish boxing deepened over the weekend.

Morris is concerned about the direction the strife-plagued sport is taking and is on the brink of throwing in the towel early this week, according to sources.

The IABA secretary attended Saturday's four-hour Central Council meeting which was thrown into chaos when the Connacht delegates walked out after CEO Fergal Carruth was asked to convey any concerns he had before leaving the meeting, which he did after an hour.

Connacht's Fiona Hennigan believes the only resolution now is to call the election, scheduled for October, early and let the provincial boards and clubs decided who they want to run the IABA.

Saturday's meeting overwhelmingly ratified David O'Brien as the chairman of the IABA's board of directors, validating the decision taken at the March 27 board meeting.

The board is split, with four central council members - including IABA president Pat Ryan - in O'Brien's corner and others - including Ciaran Kirwan - backing Joe Christle, who is recognised by Sport Ireland.

The board is the ultimate decision-making body in the sport. The central council, which is made up of elected officers, mostly handles day-to-day issues.

The next instalment of the saga will come on Wednesday when the board meets - with O'Brien as chairman.

He said: "I didn't get a count of it (vote at the central council meeting), but everyone present put their hands up. There were no abstentions.

"The central council ruled it as legitimate when they voted me in unanimously. Before they could do that, they had to recognise that the meeting on March 27 was a legitimate meeting, and we were able to prove that without a shadow of a doubt."

Despite the Connacht delegates' walkout, Ryan insisted that Saturday's meeting was constructive, adding that the concerns raised by the Minister for Sport and Sport Ireland, which has threatened to cut funding at the end of the month, were addressed in depth.

However, the central council may need an extension to the end-of-June deadline set by Sport Ireland to complete their new rulebook, which the clubs must approve by a two-thirds majority.

Irish Independent

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