Billy Walsh is set to lead the women's programme at USA Boxing after a dispute with the Irish Federation ©Getty Images

Irish Sports Council (ISC) chairman Kieran Mulvey has launched a scathing attack on the Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) after High Performance Unit head coach Billy Walsh tendered his resignation following a lengthy contract dispute, warning their handling of the affair could affect their future funding.

Walsh was instrumental in guiding the Irish boxing team to a haul of four medals at London 2012, including the country’s first Olympic gold for 16 years when Katie Taylor triumphed in the women’s under 60 kilogram lightweight division.

He was involved in contract negotiations with the IABA for eight months, it has been claimed, but a deal could not be reached and the Irishman is now set to take up a role with USA Boxing, where he will lead their women’s high performance programme.

The situation has caused widespread outrage within the Irish boxing fraternity, with two-times Olympic bronze medallist Paddy Barnes describing Walsh’s departure as a “big loss”.

Walsh’s resignation provides a severe blow to the nation’s Olympic boxing aspirations ahead of Rio 2016 and has led to Mulvey, who leads the organisation tasked with the promotion, development and coordination of sport in Ireland, questioning how IABA have failed to secure a deal to retain Walsh’s services, accusing the body of showing “gross disrespect” to the ISC.

It has been reported that a contract was agreed between the ISC, the IABA and Walsh only for Irish boxing’s governing body to refuse to present it to their Board.

"Non-financial" reasons have also been speculated to be behind Walsh's departure.

Billy Walsh helped Katie Taylor to Olympic gold for Ireland at London 2012
Billy Walsh lhelped Katie Taylor to Olympic gold for Ireland at London 2012 ©Getty Images

The IABA has thus far maintained a vow of silence over the matter though they had previously stated they had “done their utmost to retain Billy Walsh as head coach”.

They could now face an Oireachtas Committee hearing, which is governed by the nation’s National Parliament, to explain why a contract was never signed with Walsh.

“In my five years as chairman of the Irish Sporting Council it would be my view that what we’ve been trying to manage over the last five years is a dysfunctional arrangement,” Mulvey said.

“I made an issue around future funding.

“The IABA for all practical purposes is almost totally funded by the State - I am not threatening any boxer, any coach, any club, they will be protected by us.

“What I'm saying is we are not happy at the top level at how this organisation is being run and its engagement with the head coach.

“They don’t even call him the Director of High Performance which was the post we approved for funding.

“Gross disrespect has been shown to us and the minister around this matter and it can’t be allowed to go on.”

Mulvey also went on to claim that the IABA “didn’t want” to retain Walsh’s services, vowing to conduct a review into chief executive Fergal Carruth “within the week”.

“I just know for a fact that anybody who has dealt with the IABA in these negotiations, be they human resource consultants or legal, have found it the most frustrating experience they’ve ever experienced,” the disgruntled ISC chairman added.

“What was Billy Walsh looking for?

“I think he was looking for respect and my God did he deserve it.”

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Ireland's Michael Conlan coach Billy Walsh after beating Murodjon Akhmadaliev of Uzbekistan in the final of the bantamweight during the AIBA World Championships in Doha earlier this month ©Getty Images

The news comes a week after bantamweight Michael Conlan became the first-ever Irish world boxing champion at the AIBA World Championships in Doha,

The 23-year-old admitted his anguish after hearing that Walsh, who was in his corner when he made history in the Qatari capital, had opted to resign.

"It's very disappointing that Billy is leaving because he has helped me a lot, he's been something of a mentor and has been a great ambassador for Irish boxing," he said.

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April 2010: Irish boxing hit by row over appointment of new high performance director