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IABA banishes Leinster Council, Connacht Council and Dublin Board from association

Elected officers from the three dissenting units have had their memberships revoked by the IABA’s Central Council, via an independent panel.

A view of the National Stadium, Dublin.
A view of the National Stadium, Dublin.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

THE LATEST CHAPTER of Irish Athletic Boxing Association’s ongoing saga of in-fighting was written yesterday evening as the elected officials on the IABA’s Leinster Provincial Council, Connacht Provincial Council and the Dublin Boxing Board had their memberships of the national association revoked.

An independent, three-person panel — consisting of two barristers and a corporate governance officer from the national governing body of a different sport — has upheld the vote made three weeks ago by the IABA’s Central Council to banish the members of all three units who withdrew their support for the Central Council, a superior body within the overall national association.

Leinster, Connacht and Dublin had renounced the Central Council Officers Board because of its failure to pass a new rule which would have allowed the election of two further members to the board.

On 29 October, 20 members of Central Council present at a meeting passed a vote of no confidence in the officers of those three dissenting units (17 voting for, one against, and two abstentions).

A vote to end these units’ respective affiliation with the IABA was passed 16-2-2, while 19 voted in favour of ending the individual IABA memberships of officers and members of each unit, with one abstention.

These decisions were referred to the IABA’s Board of Directors who, due to a conflict of interests, passed the matter to the three-man independent panel as is demanded by the IABA’s rulebook.

This panel “found on examining the evidence that there was unanimous support for the decision taken by the IABA Central Council to remove those from membership/affiliation of the IABA.”

Leinster Council president Andrew Duncan, Dublin Board president Art O’Brien (the former IABA secretary), and Olympic referee/judge Dermot McDermott (registrar for Leinster) were among those who were informed via email yesterday evening that as of 5pm on that day, their IABA membership was no more.

However, the panel noted that “individuals concerned who wish to appeal this determination may do so through SDSI (Sports Disputes Solutions Ireland) as per the rules set out by the IABA.”

It added:

We, as an independent committee, would strongly recommend that their memberships be considered at the next stage of affiliation opening to the IABA.

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“A detailed report on the findings of the review conducted was submitted to the IABA along with the Minutes of Meetings held discussing these cases.”

While the Leinster and Connacht Councils and Dublin Board are now no longer affiliated to the national governing body, all clubs in their three respective jurisdictions who had already affiliated to the IABA remain affiliated. This means that boxers and their training remain insured, and boxers can continue to partake in official IABA competitions.

It’s far from a coincidence that all of this hostility has come to the boil while four of the five officer positions on the Central Council are currently being contested in an election, with postal voting currently underway.

However, a number of candidates have now ostensibly been banished from the association by the very council onto which they were seeking election.

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