In late May/early June, three units within the IABA, namely Leinster Provincial, Connacht Provincial Council and Dublin County Board, decided to withdraw from Central Council, the body empowered by the rules of the organisation with ensuring Provincial Councils, County Boards and their Clubs are acting in accordance with the Rules and the Constitution and are managing their affairs correctly (Rule 16 (i)). All three units were communicated with and advised of the negative impact these unprecedent decisions could have on the officers/members involved and also of the negative impact their decisions could have on boxing within the three regions. Despite this, the officers/members of these three units decided to continue to act outside the legally establish governance structure of the IABA (as defined in Rule 10 of the IABA Rulebook) and to ignore the instructions issued by a superior body.
The Boy/Girl 1 & 2 Leinster Provincial Championships, which is a qualification tournament for the Boy/Girl 1 & 2 National Championships took place at St. Michael’s Boxing Club, Athy. The Leinster Provincial Championship is the only route to qualification for the National Championships from this provincial unit.
The tournament in St. Michael’s Boxing Club, Athy, was organised by the Central Council, following an indication by the then Leinster Provincial Council that it would not stage a Boy/Girl 1 & 2 National Championships qualification tournament.
It was open to all affiliated clubs in Leinster to afford their boxers the opportunity to qualify for the National Championships by entering their boxers in the Boy/Girl 1 & 2 Leinster Provincial Championships, staged at St. Michael’s Boxing Club, Athy.
The Central Council is aware that an event, took place at Arklow Boxing Club on the same weekend as the Boy/Girl 1 & 2 Leinster Provincial Championships. This unprecedented event, which was not organised or approved by the Central Council, was not a route to qualification for the National Championships. Clubs which entered boxers in the Wicklow event, and chose for their boxers not to contest the Boy/Girl 1 & 2 Leinster Provincial Championships in Kildare, were aware that their boxers would not qualify for the Boy/Girl 1 & 2 National Championships.
The Central Council Officer Board advised the host club, Arklow BC, and the Wicklow County Board, prior to the holding of the event that it did not fall within the approved competition structures or pathways.
Text of that correspondence, issued on 12/11/21:
“We are just writing to inform you that any event held in your club/county under the guise of ‘Leinster Championships’ is illegal.
In the event that some boxer gets injured, you are being made aware now that your club/county board is not covered under IABA insurance and all costs will fall back on the person(s) responsible for opening the club for such an event.
The Officer Board of the IABA are organising the Leinster Championships for Boy/Girl 1 & 2 and the winners of this event will be the only recognised entrants to a National competition. It is essential that all clubs in Leinster are informed and made aware of this fact prior to them entering any potential event insofar as they won’t be permitted to go forward to the National Championships. Club coaches must then accept responsibility for their decision in light of all pertinent information being made available to them.”
Unlike the events in Leinster and Connacht, the Dublin Championships proceeded. As such there was no need for the Central Council to intervene. Further, Central Council were informed that no officers whose membership was removed would be involved in the running of the queried championship.
The Central Council takes no pleasure from the current situation, however, it is important to note, the juncture we now find ourselves at is a direct consequences of the unprecedented and ill-advised decisions taken by the aforementioned units.
Notes for editors:
The independent Membership Panel, appointed by the Board of Directors of the IABA in accordance with the IABA Rulebook, to review a decision made by the Central Council of the IABA in relation to the membership/affiliation of members of the three units, issued its findings in mid-November. Following their review of the evidence they have unanimously upheld the decision of Central Council, to withdraw membership/affiliations.
Officers and members of the Central Council are members of boxing clubs across the island of Ireland. Officers and members are directly elected to their roles by boxing clubs. The Central Council is the body which governs Ireland’s 6 units, whose members are also directly elected by boxing clubs in their areas of operation.
Central Council, when informed of decisions taken by the Leinster & Connaught Provincial Councils as well as the Dublin County Board in May to withdraw support of the superior bodies of the IABA, convened a meeting to consider the matter. At that meeting held on 29th August 2021 the 20 members of Central Council present voted on three specific matters:
• A vote of no confidence in the Leinster and Connaught Provincial Councils, and the Dublin County Board was carried with 17 voting for, 1 against, and 2 abstentions • A vote to object to the affiliations of the three organisations was carried with 16 voting for, 2 against and 2 abstentions. • A vote to remove Officers/Members of those three organisations from Membership of the IABA was carried with 19 voting for, and 1 abstention.
These decisions were then referred to the IABA Board of Directors. Due to conflicts of interest, the Board agreed, in accordance with Rule 6(8) of the IABA Rulebook, to refer the matter to an independent Membership Panel to review the matter and determine whether or not to uphold the decision of the Central Council to withdraw membership.
The Membership 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. 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. We, as an independent committee, would strongly recommend that their memberships be considered at the next stage of affiliation opening to the IABA. 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.”
The Membership Panel was made up of two barristers and a corporate governance officer from another National Governing Body of sport. The Membership Panel, having considered all evidence, have now delivered their report which upholds the decision of the Central Council to withdraw membership/affiliation of the individuals concerned.
Those individuals in the three bodies concerned – the Leinster Provincial Council, the Connaught Provincial Council, and the Dublin Board – were informed in mid-November of the decision which means that they are no longer members/affiliates of the IABA.
It is important to note that all clubs under the auspices of Leinster and Connacht Provincial Council and the Dublin Board who have already affiliated to IABA remain affiliated, which means their boxers and training activities are insured and boxers can continue to compete in official IABA competitions.”
A stalwart of Irish boxing, Peter Mullen, of St. Anne’s Boxing Club, Mayo, has been honoured for his many decades of dedication to the sport.
Peter has been named the Mayo winner of the 2021 Federation of Irish Sport Volunteers in Sport Awards, supported by EBS.
Peter was among the founders of St. Anne’s, in 1967. As a boxer, Peter won numerous Mayo and Connacht titles before winning his first Irish Junior Heavyweight title in 1971. He has represented St. Anne’s around the world and led out an Irish boxing team at a parade in Madison Square Garden in New York. Peter is also a highly regarded judge, judging matches at county, provincial and national level. He is a dedicated coach and leader at St. Anne’s and continues to commit his time and effort to the club today.
St. Anne’s, which has won more than 102 national titles, celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2018. Peter claimed the club’s first title and has been followed by boxers including Ray Moylette and Shannon Sweeney, who won Elite belts for St Anne’s. Ray put the club on the map internationally after becoming the first Irish boxer to win World Youth gold in Mexico in 2008. Moylette, along with Joe Ward, secured double European Elite gold in Turkey in 2011, to help Ireland finish in 2nd sport in the medals table.
2021 Federation of Irish Sport Volunteers in Sport Awards will take place virtually on December 7th, 8th and 9th and will see Peter, along with volunteers from across the country, honoured for their amazing dedication to volunteering across a variety of different sports.
The Volunteers in Sport Awards celebrate the contributions of the band of volunteers across the country who give their time to Irish sport and physical activity every year. This equates to approximately 37.3 million hours of volunteering across Ireland’s 13,000 registered sports clubs and associations and, according to Sport Ireland’s 2021 ‘Researching the Value of Sport in Ireland’ report, is worth an estimated €1.5bn to the exchequer.
Throughout September and October members of the public, sports clubs and governing bodies were invited to nominate an individual whose contribution to sport and physical activity in Ireland has made a real difference to their community, club or county. The nominations and award recipients were selected by a judging panel consisting of 12 individuals drawn from sports administration, the volunteer community and media, and included former Director General of the GAA, Paraic Duffy, RTÉ broadcaster, Marie Crowe and CEO of Gaisce, Yvonne McKenna.
IABA would like to extend hearty congratulations to Peter on being honoured and recognised for his many years of services to St. Anne’s Boxing Club, and to Irish boxing.
The awards will be streamed live each evening from 7pm on the Federation of Irish Sport’s Facebook page here: with the awards schedule listed below:
• Tuesday, December 7th: Leinster and Special Recognition Award • Wednesday, December 8th: Munster, Connacht and Special Recognition Award • Thursday, December 9th: Ulster and Outstanding Achievement Award read more