Senator urges ministers Catherine Martin and Jack Chambers to intervene in IABA dispute


The unresolved Irish Athletic Boxing Association split has again been raised in the Seanad.

In today’s agenda, Wexford Senator Fianna Fail Malcolm Byrne once again urged Ministers Catherine Martin and Jack Chambers to intervene in the dispute that resulted in the expulsion of 25 senior IABA members and the exclusion of 50 young boxers from Leinster from All-Ireland. championship finals in their age category.

Ministers have repeatedly refused to get involved in the dispute that has plagued Ireland’s most successful Olympic sport this year.

In contrast, Ministers Martin and Chambers immediately called for a meeting with the Irish Rugby Football Union after 56 current and former female rugby players wrote to ministers expressing their lack of confidence in rugby’s governing body.

Speaking on today’s agenda, Senator Byrne said he did not want to comment specifically on the rugby issue.

“However, it is concerning that Minister Martin has indicated that she will intervene in one way or another regarding an argument that is going on around women’s rugby,” he said.

“Yet there is an argument that is happening in boxing where there have been a number of calls for the appointment of a mediator that has not happened and it is having a serious impact.

“I am not worried about boxing politics, what worries me is for the young people who are on the field.

“The divisions that occur in boxing are particularly serious. I would ask you to re-express our concern to Minister Martin and Minister Chambers, ”said Senator Byrne.

There are currently two ongoing reviews of women’s rugby. IRFU said it did not intend to publish the notices in their entirety.

Sports Minister Martin and the Minister of State for the Chambers of Sport have written to the players telling them that they are treating their concerns “with the utmost seriousness”.

They have offered to meet with the players, while they have also brought in Sport Ireland and wish to meet with IRFU to discuss the situation.

“This letter is taken with the utmost seriousness, especially in the context of the leadership players have shown in recent years to move the game forward,” said a government statement.

Meanwhile, the IABA Central Council’s decision to expel 25 members is being appealed to Sports Dispute Solution Ireland, but this process has dragged on with little chance of a decision before the new Year.


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