Sport Ireland suspend IABA funding

Sport Ireland have this afternoon released a statement confirming that it will suspend funding for the Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) until the governing body resolves the controversial ongoing issues.

The statement declares that the IABA are currently in “breach of its terms and conditions.”

These breaches include “inadequate governance arrangements” and a failure to introduce a new rule book in line with the IABA and SI’s own recommendations from the Boxing Clever strategic plan and the Rio Review.

Sport Ireland threaten that, unless the IABA resolves these issues by June 30th, funding will be cut.

The funding in question is the €1,132,000 awarded to the IABA this year (€432,000 for the body itself, and €700,000 for the High Performance Unit). Currently 75% of this money has already been received by the IABA, leaving the body funded fully until the end of September.

The €112,000 in grants split among five Irish boxers (Joe Ward, Steven Donnelly, Brendan Irvine, Kelly Harrington, and Christina Desmond) will be untouched and unaffected by this move.

The Sport Ireland statement read:

Sport Ireland would like to acknowledge the progress made by the Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) in recent months. Developments led by the Board of the IABA include the publication of ‘Boxing Clever’ the IABA’s new strategic plan, the completion of the 2016 Rio Review and the implementation of two key recommendations of that review – the relocation of the High Performance Unit to the Sport Ireland Institute and the appointment of Bernard Dunne to the position of High Performance Director.

However there remain significant issues of concern at the IABA. The Board of Sport Ireland met in Dublin on Friday, June 2nd, to discuss the developing situation within the IABA. The Board of Sport Ireland deemed that the IABA is in breach of its terms and conditions of funding and took the decision to suspend all funding to the IABA, effective from July 1st, unless certain criteria are satisfied.

In order to satisfy the Board of Sport Ireland that it has successfully addressed the breach of the terms and conditions, by June 30th the IABA must introduce the proposed new Rule Book which is required to further implement ‘Boxing Clever’ and the Rio Review. Further it must address the inadequate governance arrangements which are giving rise to the current difficulties.

Representatives of Sport Ireland met with Board members of the IABA on Tuesday June 6th to discuss ongoing governance issues within the organisation. Sport Ireland recognises Joe Christle as the Chairman of the IABA and has no reason to believe that there is another Chairman of the organisation or an alternative board.

At yesterday’s meeting the IABA representatives assured Sport Ireland of their commitment to implementing a new Rule Book for the organisation as per the strategic plan and would introduce this within the prescribed timeframe.

The IABA has to date received 75% of its Core and High Performance funding for 2017 which means the organisation is fully funded until the end of September. This decision will not impact Sport Ireland’s direct athlete investment through the International Carding Scheme in 2017.

Sport Ireland will continue to review the situation and remains available to assist the IABA if requested.

frayne carpentry

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]