IABA has been threatened with further funding cuts by Sport Ireland after the under-fire organisation became embroiled in another bitter row ©IABA

The Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) has been threatened with further funding cuts after it became embroiled in another bitter row over selection and governance.

According to The Business Post, Sport Ireland have warned the organisation that they need to undergo serious reforms or risk losing around €1 million (£870,000/$1.2 million).

IABA have been given a deadline of June 30 to resolve the outstanding issues.

The latest debacle involving IABA, who have endured a tumultuous period following the country's dismal boxing performance at last year's Olympic Games, centres on new high performance director Bernard Dunne's selection for this month's European Championships in Kyiv.

Dunne, appointed to the role in April , initially chose Dean Gardiner in the super-heavyweight category.

But IABA's Central Council decided he should fight national champion Martin Keenan in a box-off.

Gardiner seemingly justified Dunne's decision by beating Keenan to secure his spot on the Irish team for the event, due to take place from June 16 to 24.

Gerry O'Mahony, President of IABA's Munster Council, has been selected instead of Dunne to lead the Irish squad at the European Championships, sparking further controversy.

Sport Ireland claim the Central Council of the organisation are trying to undermine the high performance director, according to a letter from chief executive John Treacy.

Dunne has been given the backing of Olympic silver medallist John Joe Nevin.

He told the Irish Sun that the former WBA world super-bantamweight champion "should be left to do his job".

Nevin said: "Bernard Dunne should be left, he knows his job, they've appointed the right man, its a matter of who's in control, who's picking who.

"I think it's all about power up there as well, some of the lads in the office feel left out and they want control of everything."

It was also reported last week that Sports Minister Patrick O'Donovan called off a meeting with IABA officials after President Pat Ryan declined to attend.

Ryan claimed he did not show up for the meeting due to family commitments.

O'Donovan has also raised concerns about the chairmanship of the organisation, with incumbent Joe Christle and David O'Brien both laying claim to the role.

London 2012 Olympic silver medallist John Joe Nevin has come out in support of high performance director Bernard Dunne, who was only appointed in April but is already involved in a selection row ©Getty Images
London 2012 Olympic silver medallist John Joe Nevin has come out in support of high performance director Bernard Dunne, who was only appointed in April but is already involved in a selection row ©Getty Images

Christle and IABA chief executive Fergal Carruth have each insisted he is the rightful chairman but O'Brien has reportedly been supported by four Central Council members, including O'Mahony, who has since warned the only way to resolve the row would be in the courts.

Christle also has the backing of Sport Ireland.

"I couldn’t see any other way, myself because who else could decide it?" he said.

"It’s a serious matter and it definitely needs to be changed – the articles of memorandum have to be changed - it’s very vague."

Irish boxing was plagued with issues prior to Rio 2016 following a contract dispute with Billy Walsh.

He had been instrumental in guiding the Irish boxing team to four medals at London 2012, including the country’s first Olympic gold for 16 years when Katie Taylor won the women’s under 60 kilogram lightweight division.

Walsh joined USA Boxing as coach of the women's team after London 2012.

Ireland's boxers failed to win a medal at Rio 2016 and their athletes were involved in controversy both in and out of the ring.

Middleweight Michael O’Reilly was withdrawn shortly before the Opening Ceremony after admitting taking a banned drug.

Then Michael Conlan and Stephen Donnelly were among three boxers reprimanded by the International Olympic Committee after they bet on events during the Olympics.

Bantamweight world champion Conlan was involved in further controversy when Russia’s Vladimir Nikitin was awarded victory in their quarter-final bout, despite the Irish boxer having been seen by many to have dominated the fight.

Conlan then went on an expletive-laden rant in a post-fight interview with RTE, where he claimed the International Boxing Association (AIBA) were "cheats" and that amateur boxing "stinks from the core to the very top".

AIBA President CK Wu was supposed to visit Dublin in January of this year to discuss the "negative narrative" around the IABA but the meeting was postponed.