Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport Robert Troy TD has warned that the current dispute engulfing the Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) needs to be resolved as a matter of urgency to ensure Irish boxers are prepared for the upcoming European Championships.

Deputy Troy said, “It’s deeply disappointing to see Irish boxing back in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Boxing has always provided some of our best hopes for success on the international field. However the ongoing power struggle within the IABA is having a detrimental impact on the sport. The preparation that needs to be carried out in advance of the European Championships has stalled as a result of infighting within the IABA Central Council.

“The outcome of the Rio Olympics highlighted serious governance issues surrounding the management of the IABA, particularly in relation to how the Central Council functions. An in-depth review of Irish boxing was launched following the Rio Olympics and the IABA committed to implementing its findings. However now we have a situation whereby the implementation of these findings are being frustrated as a result of a group of members on the IABA refusing to accept the implementation of a new rule book.

“The behaviour of certain individuals on the IABA Central Council is shocking. Serious questions have to be asked as to whether the Central Council is serving the best interests of Irish boxing. The establishment of two camps is deeply damaging to the sport and the situation cannot continue. The failure by a key official to attend a meeting with Minister of State for Sport Patrick O’Donovan is quite simply astonishing.

“The IABA Central Council must commit to meeting Minister O’Donovan without delay to help sort out this mess. It needs to be highlighted that the IABA is at risk of losing its Sport Ireland funding by the end of June should this issue remain unresolved. The new High Performance Director is a highly capable individual and should be given the support he needs to get on with the job. We can’t allow petty infighting within the Central Council to derail Irish boxing.”