The Irish Athletic Boxing Association’s Annual General Meeting takes place on Sunday next 8th October at the Ringside Club in the National Stadium and what an exciting – and hopefully peaceful – afternoon and evening is in prospect as delegates from all eligible Irish clubs voice their opinions on what is necessary to put behind the organisation the ill feeling between clubs and the Board of Directors/Executives over the past few months, indeed some would say past few years.
Such infighting has led directly or indirectly to the loss of key players in the sports none more so than Billy Walsh and as late as this Summer a decision was taken to appoint a Team Manager to travel to the World Championships in Hamburg. He later withdrew since by then HP Unit Coach Bernard Dunne was elected as Team Manager.
This weekend ,several positions are ‘up for grabs’ as the clubs meet for the most important AGM in recent years.
So who are the candidates and for which posts?
The Nominations for the Officer Board are:.
Liam Morley Brereton
Larry Morrison (Unopposed)
Stephen Connolly (Unopposed)
Nomination for the Oifigeach Gaeilge
Joe Hernon (Unopposed)
Nominations for Elected Members (8)
(The current Boxing Council members are:
Gerry Storey, Mary Butler, Seamus Dowling, Larry Durand,
Antoinette Faye-McClean, Paddy Osborne, Eugene O’Kane, Philip Rooney)
As the IABA has not published each candidates manifesto, difficult to comment but certainly following the retirement of that great stalwart Al Morris there are some interesting potential Hon Secretaries including Art O’Brien, Antoinette Faye-McClean and another is the St Brigid’s Edenderry official and coach Liam Morley Brereton.
He has posted his manifesto on Social Media and remembering his great service already to the cause of female boxing in Ireland and further afield, would certainly be a good man for the job. It is vital that there is “equality” for women in the sport and that they have access to the same funding and coaches as the men. That has not always happened in recent times.
This is what Brereton has to say in his appeal to clubs around the country for their support:
I would be grateful, when you sit down to complete the IABA voting papers, if you would honour me with your vote for Secretary of our Association. I too fully understand that vast numbers of our members are disgruntled and dismayed with the happenings in our Association in the recent past.
That said, to dwell on the past will only delay future progress – I also concede I have made mistakes in the past, but with time it brings experience and knowledge.
I feel now, I have that knowledge and experience to do you and our Association proud, in the position of Secretary of IABA. We ask our Boxers for 120% commitment and ‘leave it all in the ring’.
My promise, my GUARANTEE, is that I will do the same for each and every one of you – I will give the Boxers, Coaches, Clubs and ALL our members 120% of effort in working for each and every one of you, and (like the boxers in the ring) when I’m at an IABA meeting, I will ‘leave everything’ at each meeting so our sport will grow and grow and cement its self once again as Ireland most successful Sport in all competitions.
Thanking you in Advance
Liam Morley Brereton “
Some great candidates too for the Boxing Council positions including many of the outgoing personnel.
Next let us turn to the vexed question of Elected and Non-Elected members of the Board
The Association’s President, Vice President and the Provincial Presidents automatically qualify as Directors but it is worth pointing out that not all of the Directors are voted into power by the IABA AGM delegates.
Therein lies the crux of the matter, solve this and there is a real chance that peace will break out. The clubs, after all with their ever increasing membership fees are the main financial support unit for boxing in Ireland.
Let it be said that all other international sports organisations in Ireland DO have fully elected boards so why should the IABA be any different?
In contrast the current IABA Board of Directors have several members who are non-elected, but self-appointed and thus do NOT have to report or the clubs or the membership.
In few if any boxing associations elsewhere in the AIBA world (at least not in those countries who communicate in English) is there such an anomaly. Some clubs, believed to be a majority, believe – rightly or wrongly – that these non-elected Directors are therefore able to ‘ring fence’ Articles of the Association and Memorandums.
If that is the case then it is understandable why many in the sport consider it to be ‘a dictatorship’.
Much of the work of the Association is done by the clubs and by “volunteers” and the high amount of good P.R emanates almost entirely from the pen of the P.R.O so why clubs wonder is there a need for a highly paid Chief Executive Officer?
Many more less serious questions too will be raised when delegates from all over Ireland meet.
We will bring you all the news from the IABA this weekend and early next week from the National Stadium in Dublin’s fair city.