Former boxer Bernard Dunne in ‘negotiations’ with IABA over employment rights claim

Dunne, a former high-performance director at association, resigned a year ago and is now preparing Indian boxers for 2024 Olympic Games

The Irish Athletic Boxing Association is in “negotiations” with its former high-performance director Bernard Dunne over an employment rights claim he has lodged at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), the tribunal has been told.

The parties may have as little as six weeks to resolve the dispute, with an adjudicating officer remarking that that “pressure might be beneficial” in the case as he refused an applications to put the next hearing back to either the autumn or the new year.

The tribunal was told on Tuesday that Mr Dunne was in India and could not attend, and that the parties had agreed to an adjournment in the matter because of a diary clash.

Adjudicating officer Pat Brady said “substantial circumstances”, such as illness, would have to be cited by one of the parties and supported by documentation in order to allow a case to be put back on the day of hearing.


“The circumstance we’re in fall within the definition of substantial or extenuating circumstances,” said the boxing association’s solicitor, Setanta Landers.

“What is the circumstance?” Mr Brady asked.

“The parties are in negotiations or discussions between them,” Mr Landers said.

Daniel O’Connell of Kean’s Solicitors, appearing for the complainant, said his client would be out of the country in October and that he needed eight months.

“He works in India and he has the Olympics,” Mr O’Connell said.

“That might have cut the mustard pre-Covid, but we can do hybrid hearings or remote hearings,” said adjudicating officer Pat Brady.

“If discussions are advanced between the parties, what’s the good of giving four months?

“I’ll agree to adjourn, that’s likely to be more like six weeks. The pressure might be beneficial in the circumstances,” Mr Brady said.

“I would hope we wouldn’t have to trouble the WRC again with it,” Mr Landers said.

“I will arrange for it to be re-entered into the schedule, but not again, fellas,” Mr Brady told the solicitors.

No particulars of Mr Dunne’s statutory complaint against the Irish Athletic Boxing Association Ltd, nor the exact statute under which it was lodged, were made public at the brief hearing.

The former world champion bantamweight, who retired from his professional career in 2010, was the national amateur association’s high-performance director until his resignation in May last year.

He was appointed to the same position by the Indian boxing association last autumn, in advance of the 2024 Olympic Games.

The WRC case has been adjourned to a date no earlier than July, yet to be set by the WRC.