A threat to the 32-county unity of the Irish Athletic Boxing Association has been averted after delegates at the Association’s second Extraordinary General Meeting in five weeks voted overwhelmingly in favour of a motion to enable the organisation to hold annual general meetings north of the border.
elegates from 75 clubs attended the EGM, which was held at the National Stadium in Dublin. The motion, which needed a 75 per cent vote to succeed, comfortably exceeded the threshold with all 80 votes favouring the motion to change the rule.
An error in the Association’s Article of Association (their rules) prevented annual general meetings or EGMs being held north of the border because the relevant rules stated that these meetings had to be held in the ‘state’.
The IABA is a limited company under Irish law and the state is regarded as the 26 counties.
There was a big surprise at the EGM in Roscommon in July when the motion failed to secure the necessary majority. The decision was criticised by the Ulster Council and the Antrim Board and fears were expressed that it could threaten the unity of the Association.
Arguably the vote in Roscommon was a protest vote against the outgoing leadership and did not reflect the thinking of the clubs, who treasure the fact that the IABA has been a 32-county organisation since its foundation in 1911.
Board chairman Ciaran Kirwan described the result as ‘terrific’ and said it proved that the Irish boxing family can more forward.
He made no reference to the fact that he is stepping down early next month. CEO Fergal Carruth was present at the meeting but did not contribute. The meeting was run by the Association’s public relations officer Ciara Plunkett.
The newly elected President of the Association, Gerry O’Mahony, made a strong plea to delegates to support the motion, ointing out that the organisation was older than the Irish state.
“It has always been a 32-county organisation and we want it to stay that way. We are honoured to have the clubs from Northern Ireland as part of our organisation.”
He said he was sorry to sorry to see Ciaran Kirwan and Fergal Carruth leave the organisation, but the IABA now needed to move forward, and he revealed the organisation was solvent.
All speakers to the brief debate spoke in favour of its adoption and the vote was no surprise. After a traumatic week in the Association, this was a small step forward.
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