Secretaries of Clubs & County Boards in Ulster                           October 16, 2004

 

Dear Secretary

 

All in boxing will be aware of the developments at the Annual Congress of the IABA on Sunday 10 October which, because of irregularities, concluded with the suspension of what must be regarded as the most important administrative event in Ireland's boxing calendar.

 

The Office Board failed to accept that the Congress should be suspended and the President made a determined effort to ignore the obvious and to proceed stating that it was "only a mistake". However, as you will all know, the IABA solicitor eventually intervened and the formalities of the Congress had to be abandoned.

 

Before looking a little further at the "mistake" I wish to remind you of the stance taken by our Headquarters personnel in respect of the 2000 Ulster Council elections where, because the Council refused to name the Antrim Clubs, which voted, it was fined 2.500 euros and the President was suspended for six months Certainly there was no question of this being regarded as a simple "mistake". Thankfully the Council readily won its appeal against the decision and the associated rough penalties.

 

Last year the Central Council met on three occasions to consider one issue - the suspension of the Connacht Council and its former President and former Secretary. The reason? It was alleged that four years previously the Connacht Secretary failed to answer correspondence. Although the Connacht Council denied this President proceeded with the matter.

 

Again when Tyrone County Board were deemed to have departed from guidelines in conducting their 2004 Annual Congress the message from Dublin was clear - declare the meeting null and void and hold a new Congress despite that the outcome changed nothing.

 

So Headquarters demands that the letter of the law must be followed to the finest degree. Or perhaps they only do so when it is applied to other units of the Association. Let us return to what the President referred to as a "mistake" -

 

   Incorrect affiliation forms

   Incorrect nomination forms

   Incorrect ballot papers incorrect names, one name listed on both papers: nominations in respect

    of some candidates missing

   incorrect Authentication Slip

   Connacht's Notices of Motion missing

   Date of Congress not shown on booklet

   President's Address missing from booklet

Despite this litany of errors and shortcomings the President endeavoured to insist the meeting should proceed with the Election of Officers. It was at this stage that his own legal adviser intervened and he was obliged to abandon his efforts.

 

Now I do wish those reading this letter to contrast the attempt to gloss over the shambles at Headquarters with the actions taken by the same people to point up the "mistakes" of others and their outrageous efforts to suspend subordinate units within the Association.

 

One can only conclude that those at the top table are of the view that they are subject to a different law than the rest of us or, perhaps, they even believe they are above the law. Unfortunately there seems no provision in our Rulebook that might help to call them to task when they ignore the Rules. And that means that the only opportunity to voice disapproval and dispense with their services exists at election time

 

t note that the Antrim Board and other County Boards have made nominations which, I hope they will forgive me saying, suggest that they have forgotten the treatment of two Antrim and Ulster boxers (Martin Lindsay and Martin Rogan) when they were denied the opportunity to compete in the European Championships because they arrived two days late for squad training during the Christmas period.

 

The latest development which brings embarrassment, and certainly no pride, to amateur boxing in Ireland is the cancellation of the Multi-Nation tournament in Dundalk just three weeks before it was due to be held. The excuse for the cancellation was that the sponsor pulled out but I am advised there never was a sponsor! We all know the frustration when boxers fail to turn up at a Club show but a Multi-Nations tournament disappearing at such short notice must cause other countries to question the value of the word of Irish boxing.

 

1 believe I have demonstrated that the present Top Table have shown little leadership; the hard line they have tried to impose on other bodies within Association is one they are unable, or unwilling, to apply to themselves and that is a real sign of weakness. They have furthermore shown a serious lack of management ability and, I believe that unless we make the necessary changes this year, amateur boxing inevitably will
continue to decline.

 

We need able administrators and the Ulster Council supports the following:

 

President                     PJ Hallinan

Vice President:            Jim Murrin

Secretary:                    Art O'Brien

Treasurer:                    Larry Morrison

Registrar:                     Joe Hennigan

 

Members:                 Sadie Duffy

                                Joe Hemon

                                Olive Keogh

                                Phil Sutcliffe

                                Jim Walsh

                                Larry Durand

                                Jim Smith

                                Austin Carruth

We earnestly urge you to support these nominations.

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