Belfast Telegraph

Boxer Conor Wallace launches High Court bid to be reinstated in Northern Ireland's Commonwealth Games team

by Alan Erwin

A champion boxer has launched a High Court bid to be reinstated to Northern Ireland's Commonwealth Games team.

Conor Wallace is seeking an injunction aimed at reversing the decision to drop him from the squad of athletes set to compete in Australia next month.

Proceedings were adjourned after his lawyers revealed alternative attempts to mediate a resolution are also to be explored.

The Newry fighter was deselected by the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council last week.

At the time police said they were investigating a complaint against a 21-year-old from the Newry area.

Mr Wallace denies any wrongdoing and has not been arrested or questioned.

An Ulster light-heavyweight amateur champion, he gained further recognition after working with UFC Superstar Conor McGregor at a 2016 training camp in America.

His legal team have issued proceedings against the Council and the Irish Athletic Boxing Association.

With members of the Northern Ireland team due to begin travelling to the Gold Coast this week, they are seeking an injunction against the decision to drop Mr Wallace.

But barrister Ronan Lavery QC told the court today they also now want to exhaust alternative resolution options.

He disclosed that a retired senior judge will chair a mediation/arbitration process next Wednesday.

"The difficulty in this case is that the deselection was presented as a fait accompli," Mr Lavery added.

Lawyers representing both the NI Commonweath Games Council and the Irish Athletic Boxing Association confirmed their willingness to participate in any alternative resolution hearing.

Mr Justice Maguire told them he wanted to know if the outcome to any arbitration will be accepted as binding, rather than just a prelude to ongoing litigation.

"You can't just have a situation of going through the motions before the real battle in this court," he stressed.

Adjourning the hearing, the judge said he wanted to be informed of the parties definitive position before the mediation takes place.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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