The IABA has said it is "acutely aware" of the need for reform within the organisation after Minister for Sport Jack Chambers said the body would face "immediate and severe financial sanctions" if governance reforms were not implemented.

A recently commissioned independent report has suggested adopting a new structure within IABA which would include a new 12-member Board of Directors to oversee its running, half of which would be independent. The report is to be put before the IABA's EGM in June.

High Performance director Bernard Dunne resigned his position earlier this month.

Dunne's exit stemmed from a complaint he lodged against two volunteers back in October 2021 after an unsigned SWOT analysis critical of his performance was circulated at board level prior to the Tokyo Games .

Previous director Billy Walsh left his position due to internal politics within the IABA and last week called for government intervention to assist change within Irish boxing.

Speaking on Today with Claire Byrne, Minister Chambers said the upcoming EGM in June is the opportunity for delegates within the IABA to bring in recommendations of the report, which total 64 in total, or face being cut off from state funding.

He believes the new structure would take power away from those who commissioned the SWOT analysis on Dunne and see a new dawn where team managers could work without board interference.

Minister Chambers described the document on Dunne as "a disgrace".

He said: "We can't and will not be funding behaviour like this and governance disfunction. I want to see boxing fully embrace and support the recommendations in the review.

"They will have to produce an implementation plan within three months at the latest.

"The anonymous and malicious document right before the Olympics undermining Bernard Dunne and the High Performance Unit was frankly a disgrace. (Those who wrote it and circulated it) need to be isolated and removed from running boxing.

"We have a high performance strategy which we have approved as a government which puts directors and units at the heart of every sporting organisation. That applies to boxing.

"I absolutely share the concerns of Billy Walsh and Bernard Dunne and that is why I am saying as a bottom line there will have to be a full implementation of the recommendations as outlined."

In response to Minister Chambers' comments, the IABA said it was aware of the need for reform and said it hoped the minister's intervention would "focus minds" among the membership, in particular those volunteers hostile to the recommendations outlined in the recent report.

The statement said: "The IABA is acutely aware of the need for reform in the volunteer structures of the association.

"The Minister's comments today will serve to focus minds on the gravity of the choice facing Irish boxing – to evolve into an association with the highest standards of governance, or to reject reform and face damaging constraints on our sport."

The amateur boxing body noted that the reforms had to be put before the members at the IABA's EGM and that it was aware of considerable opposition among the ranks of volunteers.

"IABA's ability to implement the required reforms is contingent upon a democratic ballot of boxing clubs and their members. IABA is already aware of staunch opposition among some long-standing volunteer members to the primary recommendations proposed in the review.

"The IABA hopes that the minister’s comments today on the immediacy and severity of financial sanctions will give those members pause and motivate them to think on what is in the best interests of the sport they love."

The statement finished by describing the anonymous document which triggered Dunne's resignation as "malicious and appalling" and said it had asked the former world champion to re-consider his departure.

"The IABA notes the Minister's comments on the resignation of Bernard Dunne as High Performance Director.

"IABA asked Bernard to reconsider his resignation, a request reiterated at last Monday’s board meeting.

"IABA considers the anonymous document disseminated in February of 2021 to be a malicious and appalling attack on a member of staff."

Bernard Dune resigned as High Performance Director this month

Speaking earlier on RTÉ Radio 1, Minister Chambers called for the return of Dunne to his position if the IABA agrees to adopt the recommendations.

"I would love to see Bernard Dunne return. If IABA is serious after their EGM about implementing the recommendations, I would love to see the door open for Bernard Dunne to return.

"But IABA needs to be serious about implementing them."

The IABA have said they will be reviewing Minister Chambers' comments before addressing the matter.

Chambers has also revealed Sport Ireland will be tasked with ensuring that any reforms are not temporary.

He said he fears for the long-term of the sport if boxing delegates do not opt for change.

"Those recommendations and timelines around them will have to be agreed with Sport Ireland. They will be monitored monthly by Sport Ireland. I want to make it clear we won't be seeing this continuity of conflict and internal battles.

"We cannot have individuals on a board or council deciding who is being selected on a particular team.

"Bringing in 12 directors with half of them independent on the board, you'll see very significant change happening if the recommendations are implemented.

"Boxing and members of boxing have a clear choice if they want to embrace reform. If they don't embrace it in the timelines outlined, it will have an impact on their core funding as organisation including for capital and equipment.

"What is happening now is we’re discussing individuals who have a malicious intent within the organisation trying to undermine the likes of Bernard Dunne and Billy Walsh in the past.

"They need to be isolated and removed from the core running of boxing. It’s undermining the athletes, degrading the grassroots and could lead to losing future potential.

"I am determined as minister to show there will be full consequences if they do no implement the recomendations and that’s the minimum from me."