‘It’s clear something is wrong’: Senator calls for independent JIA investigation

A call was made at Seanad today for an independent inquiry into the affairs of the troubled Irish Athletic Boxing Association.

exford Fianna Fail Senator Malcolm Byrne stated that the situation in the JIA ‘may be worse’ than what happened in the FAI.

Sports Minister Jack Chambers has threatened to withhold funding from the organization which lost its third High Performance Director with the recent resignation of Bernard Dunne.

Speaking on the agenda, Senator Byrne referred to the Minister’s comments.

“When we listen to former trainers, but to me more importantly, some of the people involved in boxing on the ground talking about how dysfunctional that organization is, it’s clear that something is wrong.”

Byrne noted that when former Sport Ireland chief executive John Treacy appeared before the Oireachtas sporting committee last year, he asked if the IABA was “another case of the FAI with some of its past problems”.

He said he didn’t think so. Frankly, based on some of the stories that are coming out now, I think it may be worse what’s going on.

“Our only interest should be to be able to support young boxers and boxing clubs across the country. I think it is time an independent person was appointed to look into the IABA and boxing in Ireland.

“It is too important a sport for this country to allow this problem to remain unresolved,” said the long-time senator from Wexford,” said Senator Byrne.

The IABA said in a statement earlier this week that it was “well aware of the need to reform the Association’s volunteer structures.”

He suggested that the Sports Minister’s statement “served to focus attention on the seriousness of the choice facing Irish boxing”.

Curiously, the Minister made no reference to the possibility of suspending funding for the sport’s High Performance Unit in the event that FIA members do not adopt the proposals contained in the McNiece report which was published last week.

The IABA acknowledges that there is what they describe as “firm opposition among some long-standing volunteer members to the main recommendations proposed in the review.”

The IABA hopes that the minister’s comments “on the immediacy and severity of the financial sanctions will give those members pause and motivate them to think about what is best for the sport they love.”

However, all early indications are that the key recommendation in McNiece seeking the appointment of six independent directors to a new Board of Directors that would not include the acting IABA President as a voting member has collapsed like a balloon. lead with base officials.

In addition, the comment in the IABA statement about the need to reform volunteer structures has been interpreted as a direct attack on them.

The date and location of next month’s extraordinary general meeting in which the recommendation to reform the board will be voted on has not yet been confirmed.

The results of the presidential election and the Central Council board election, which have been delayed for a long time, will also be announced at the EGM.

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