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Dunne takes top job just as Irish governing body faces major row

By Sean McGoldrick

The unveiling yesterday of former world champion Bernard Dunne as Irish boxing's new High Performance director was overshadowed by revelations of a bitter split in the Irish Athletic Boxing Association.

A long-running power struggle between the elected officers of the IABA and the rest of the Board of Directors - who are nominated by the chairmen - has erupted publicly with two officials insisting they now hold the office of board chairman.

Five board members including the president of the IABA Pat Ryan met in the National Stadium on March 27 and unanimously elected Waterford boxing official David O'Brien as the 'new' chairman of the Board of Directors.

However, the current chairman Joe Christle, as well as the chief executive of the IABA Fergal Carruth, insist that this meeting had no legal standing.

"There was no Board of Directors' meeting on the 27th. I am the CEO of the organisation and I have the imprimatur to speak on behalf of the organisation. This is what I am doing now and I'm telling you that there is one chairman of the organisation, Joe Christle," said Carruth.

But in an interview last night David O'Brien declared: "My position is that I am the chairman. If Joe Christle does not accept that he is no longer chairman then we will have to bring this issue to the members (of the IABA), have an EGM and let them decide."

Speaking at the press conference to confirm Dunne as the new HP director, Christle said: "If there is somebody purporting to be a chairman his name would be on the board of directors in the CRO (Company Registration Office).

"This is not the case. The 'new chairman' is no longer a member of the board of directors. His term of office has come to an end," he added.

O'Brien's four-year term as a board member did come to an end on March 28 but he contends that having been elected chairman the previous night he is legally still a member of the board.

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