Irish boxing given 24 hours to rethink Billy Walsh departure
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Irish boxing given 24 hours to rethink Billy Walsh departure

THE Irish Sports Council has given the Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) 24 hours to resolve the controversial resignation of head coach Billy Walsh.

The man, who led Ireland to Olympic, World and European gold at amateur level, decided on Monday to step down from his position after contract negotiations with the IABA broke down.

After 12 years at the helm of Irish boxing, and months of trying to secure his future as head coach with the IABA, Walsh will now head to the US to train the national women’s team.

Kieran Mulvey, Chairman of the Irish Sports Council, issued a warning to the IABA yesterday evening that they should reconsider their handling of Walsh’s departure and accept an agreement regarding his future as head coach, which was put forward in August.

“I assume there’s quite a number of great coaches in Ireland, except we have the best coach in the world in Ireland, in boxing,” he told RTÉ’s Prime Time. “His record stands for itself. He should be allowed the freedom and opportunity to continue to do a good job.

“Billy Walsh gave up in frustration. All you had to hear is his statement of a man who does not want to go to America but is being forced, by the petty indignities forced upon him, to leave this country.”

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Mr Mulvey said that an agreement made with the IABA on August 22 was never put to its board.

He added that the Irish Sports Council would have to rethink its funding to the IABA if the matter is not resolved.

“My view now is that deal should be offered to Billy even at this late date and give up the nonsense that’s going on now in the IABA about this,” Mr Mulvey said.

“I’m effectively saying when the new funding round for 2016 comes up we will have to review our relationship with the IABA.”