Bernard Dunne announced as new IABA High Performance Director

As had been widely expected, Bernard Dunne was this morning confirmed as the new High Performance Director by the Irish Athletic Boxing Association.

The Dubliner was unveiled at a press conference today at the new Sport Ireland Campus in Abbottstown.

A former Senior champion, Dunne becomes the first official High Performance Director since the departure of Gary Keegan in 2007.

The role had been carried out in an unofficial capacity by former High Performance Head Coach Billy Walsh up until the Wexford man’s departure to Team USA in 2015.

Technical coach Zaur Antia stepped into both roles on an interim basis for the disastrous Rio Olympics, bolstering the widespread consensus that a specialised High Performance Director is badly-needed to allow the coaches to focus on coaching.

In the aftermath of the Olympics, Bray-based Georgian Antia was handed the Head Coach role on a full time basis, while High Performance Coach Eddie Bolger recently departed for a role with the German National Team. John Conlan, Dmitry Dmitruck, and Billy McClean currently round out the High Performance coaching team.

Dunne beat off competition for the role from former Irish rugby coach Eddie O’Sullivan and numerous American High Performance bosses.

Since retirement, Neilstown’s Dunne has been involved in multiple ventures. These include Irish language work, punditry for RTÉ, Sky, and BoxNation, writing and presenting his own children’s television show for RTÉ.

On the more relevant end of the scale, Dunne has spent the past four years as performance and lifestyle coach with the Dublin Senior Football team, has also earned a Diploma in Executive Coaching from the Irish Management Institute, and currently is undergoing a Masters in Sports, Exercise, and Performance Psychology.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: [email protected]