Irish amateur boxing row rumbles on as Sport Ireland gives funding deadline

Former world super-bantamweight champion Bernard Dunne
Bernard Dunne was appointed as Irish amateur boxing's high performance director last month

Sport Ireland says it will suspend funding to the Irish amateur boxing governing body from 1 July unless governance issues are addressed.

The sport has been beset by internal squabbles in recent years which included the departure of national coach Billy Walsh.

The latest dispute erupted following team selection for this month's European Championships in Ukraqine.

Sport Ireland met boxing officials on Tuesday but the row remains unresolved.

Bones of contention include the autonomy of the Irish Athletic Boxing Association's (IABA) recently-appointed high performance director Bernard Dunne, whose appointed was endorsed by Sport Ireland.

Two boxers selected for the European Championships by Dunne were not rubberstamped by the IABA's central council.

Split includes row over who is IABA chairman

In addition, Sport Ireland is unhappy that the IABA has so far refused to agree to an overhaul of its rule book while there is also a dispute over who holds the chairmanship of the governing body.

Sport Ireland recognises Joe Christle as the properly constituted IABA chairman but five of the governing body's directors have approved David O'Brien as an alternative chairman.

The umbrella body for Irish sport funds the IABA to the tune of almost £1m and a Sport Ireland statement on Wednesday said that 75% of this year's funding has already been delivered to the governing body.

The statement also said that the IABA is "fully funded until the end of September".

"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 1 July, 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 30 June the IABA must introduce the proposed new rule book which is required to further implement 'Boxing Clever' and the Rio Review.

"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."

The statement said that individual funding to boxers under Sport Ireland's international carding scheme will not be affected by the current stand-off.

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