Boxing: Dominic O’Rourke elected President in chaotic scenes at National Stadium

It certainly was an Extraordinary AGM of the Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) at the Ringside Club, National Stadium on Sunday morning and early afternoon with claim and counter claim as to who was responsible for the ongoing mess that has run and run for the past few years.  Outgoing President Pat Ryan asked for the meeting to be adjourned and left the meeting whilst Chief Executive Officer, Fergal Carruth told those present – ( a much smaller number than expected)  – to remain seated and then read out the results of the postal ballot that had taken place.


Late Sunday night there were already rumours of pending resignations from the newly appointed IABA officers board albeit not necessarily in the coming hours whilst the outcome of the recent re-run of the Ulster Council elections has still not been accepted by the outgoing President Paul McMahon and Hon. Secretary Sadie Duffy.  It is understood (though no official word of confirmation) that the duo have requested an arbitration court hearing in  November.  Thus it can be said that the meeting that then took place Sunday  did not result in any great bonhomie either.


There were angry words exchanged regarding Rio and associated events though the official Rio Report was not read out.


Chairman Joe Christle was invited to resign and as mentioned earlier one of the newly elected officers was said to be on the verge of resigning within hours of his appointment. So it was  Sunday evening  when the Association issued a formal Press Release which read:


“Dominic O’Rourke was elected President of the Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) in results of a postal ballot announced at the 2017 IABA Convention held a Dublin’s National Stadium today, Sunday 8th October.


O’Rourke succeeds Pat Ryan who has served as President since 2015 securing 194 votes as against the 102 votes obtained by Ryan.


O’Rourke has been involved in boxing for more than 50 years. A Kildare native, O’Rourke hails from St. Michael’s Boxing Club in Athy where he has overseen 185 national titles during his time as Head Coach.


Many of the boxers he coached have also gone on to achieve international success. Willie O’Donovan was World Junior champion, Eric Donovan won a European bronze, Roy Sheehan was an EU champion and John Joe Joyce and David Oliver Joyce, both Olympians, claimed European Elite bronze and three EU gold medals.


O’Rourke previously held the position of President of the IABA from 2000 until 2010 during one of the most successful periods in Irish boxing, which included three medals at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. O’Rourke was also instrumental in the incorporation of the IABA in 2008. Following his tenure as President, O’Rourke went on to serve as Technical Director for the IABA from 2010 to 2014.


In the other election results announced at the Convention, Joe Hennigan was elected Vice-President with 129 votes to the 86 for Bernie Harold and 76 for Anna Moore. Art O’Brien was returned as Secretary obtaining 107 votes to the 95 secured by Antoinette Faye and 81 for Liam Brereton. Larry Morisson was elected unopposed to the position of Treasurer as was Stephen Connolly to the office of Registrar.


Paddy Osborne, Larry Durand, Philip Rooney, Seamus Dowling, Gerry Storey, Eugene O’Kane, Johnny Carey and Frank Ward were all elected to the IABA Boxing Council. The elections were overseen by BKRM who are the auditors to the IABA.


Dominic O’Rourke, President, IABA, said; “I am honoured to have been elected President of the IABA at this year’s Convention. The sport has undergone a difficult time of late. However, boxing remains Ireland’s most successful Olympic sport and with over 300 clubs nationwide some of which are in the most disadvantaged community the IABA makes a significant contribution to Irish Sport at both community and high performance levels.


“We are also lucky to have a group of very talented athletes and coaches and the many committed volunteers without whom the sport simply would not happen. I look forward to working with them as well as our CEO, Fergal Carruth and the Board of Directors to unite and strengthen the sport of boxing which is of huge importance to Ireland.”


Joe Christle, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the IABA, said: “I want to congratulate Dominic on his election who has given so much to the sport of boxing for more than 50 years both as a coach and as an administrator. Dominic has not only coached many of Ireland’s top boxers both at national and international level but was also instrumental in advancing the administration of the sport including, instigating the incorporation of the Association in 2008. I am confident that boxing will make significant progress under his stewardship over the next two years and very much look forward to working with him.”



IABA Election, IABA National Convention National Stadium Dublin October 8th


(Votes in brackets)




Dominic O’Rourke (194)

Pat Ryan (102


Vice President


Joe Hennigan (129)

Bernie Harold (86)

Anna Moore (76)




Art O’Brien (107)

Antoinette Fay-McClean (95)

Liam Brereton (81)




Larry Morrison (Unopposed)




Stephen Connolly (Unopposed)


Nomination for the Oifigeach Gaelige.


Joe Hernon (Unopposed)


Elected Members of Officer Board


Paddy Osborne (259)

Larry Durand (228)

Philip Rooney (212)

Seamus Dowling (201)

Gerry Storey (193)

Eugene O’Kane (187)

Johnny Carey (147)

Frank Ward (134)



So what next for Irish boxing? We are likely to hear more in the coming weeks but certainly at this time, it is good at least that the Election has taken place and that some modest progress has been made. Let us hope that all concerned can now set to work on providing an efficient and professional service to the sport they’ve been elected to run. But will things run smoothly?  As the old saying goes “watch this space”.


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