Minister Ring calls for cool heads and deep breaths in discussions over Billy Walsh

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring TD, today (Friday) called for cool heads from all parties to the discussions over the resignation of Billy Walsh from the


Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA).


Speaking today, Minister Ring said: ‘All involved here are sorry to see Billy leave for the U.S. and while this situation has caused passions to run high, now is the time to re-direct that passion in the interest of the future of the sport. We must focus our efforts on the week and months ahead and on how we can best support our athletes as they prepare for the Olympic Games in Rio next year.


“Nobody wanted Billy to leave but he is gone now and it is time for us to re-group and all work together. We can only do that if everyone takes a deep breath and cools down.  There has been a lot of intense discussion over the last few days, primarily due to the love people have for the sport and their interest in its future.  I am aware that Sport Ireland and the IABA have both put their positions on the record in recent days about what has happened.  For the sake of Irish boxing, at all levels, I believe that everyone should now focus on what’s ahead and what is best for our athletes. Adding fuel to the fire by continuing the discussion over the airwaves is not helpful at this point.


“I propose to sit down with Sport Ireland and the Irish Amateur Boxing Association as soon as possible, with a view to moving forward in a spirit of cooperation.  I am happy to make myself available to both sides and to listen to what they have to say. Boxers and coaches at all levels need to set this distraction behind them as we head into 2016 and the Rio Games.  We are exceptionally proud of the success story of Irish boxing to date and I know that the future is bright and that we can look forward with confidence to further success in the future. We can only do that by all working together.”


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