IABA Statement On Minister Chambers’ Comments On “Today with Claire Byrne”

The IABA is acutely aware of the need for reform in the volunteer structures of the association. The Minister’s comments today (on the “Today with Claire Byrne” programme) will serve to focus minds on the gravity of the choice facing Irish boxing – to evolve into an association with the highest standards of governance, or to reject reform and face damaging constraints on our sport. The scale of reform recommended in the report is profound and impacts virtually all areas of operation of the volunteer structures of the association.

The governance report was shared with all boxing clubs, county boards and provincial units on May 10th, in preparation for our forthcoming EGM.  In that sharing, the IABA has placed particular, but not exclusive, emphasis on the reform of the structure of the association’s board, and its expansion to include additional independent members, from which the implementation of all other reforms will flow. This matter will be put before members at the EGM and members will be asked to initially support the changes within the Teneo Governance review of IABA 2022 in relation to the board. That is, that all recommendations that are set out in the review on the constitution of the board of IABA are accepted.

If the recommendations are adopted by the at the members at the EGM, the IABA will be engage, fully, with all monitoring and change management structures applied by Sport Ireland. IABA also commits to publishing an implementation plan within the timescale outlined by the Minister today.

IABA’s ability to implement the required reforms is contingent upon a democratic ballot of boxing clubs and their members. IABA is already aware of staunch opposition among some long-standing volunteer members to the primary recommendations proposed in the review. The IABA hopes that the minister’s comments today on the immediacy and severity of financial sanctions will give those members pause and motivate them to think on what is in the best interests of the sport they love.

The IABA notes the Minister’s comments on the resignation of Bernard Dunne as High Performance Director. IABA asked Bernard to reconsider his resignation, a request reiterated at last Monday’s board meeting.  IABA considers the anonymous document disseminated in February of 2021 to be a malicious and appalling attack on a member of staff.