Government express ‘outrage’ to UK sports minister over Kinahan boxing involvement
Gangland leader Daniel Kinahan brokered Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua boxing match
Minister for Sport Shane Ross said it would be tragic if Irish boxing was sullied by the incident. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times
The Government is sending letters to the UK’s minister for sport and to broadcasters Sky and BT to express “our outrage” about “absolutely unacceptable” involvement of crime boss Daniel Kinahan in the brokering of a high-profile boxing match between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua.
Minister for Sport Shane Ross said it would be “absolutely wrong and tragic” for boxing clubs and volunteers in Ireland “if their name was sullied by activities which are completely and utterly unacceptable”.
Minister of State for Sport Brendan Griffin said the “danger is here that the reputation of Irish boxing will be tarnished because of this incident which is grossly unfair to huge numbers of people who do great work”.
Speaking in the Dáil during a debate on sport, Mr Griffin said he was “appalled to see what has surfaced” in the past 24 hours about the lucrative bout.
He said he had asked department officials to draft a letter to his UK counterpart and to the UK broadcasters about “our outrage” about this situation which he said was “completely unacceptable”.
He said Sport Ireland had no connection with professional boxing but wanted to emphasise in relation to amateur boxing “there is no question whatsoever of any link with criminality”.
The Kerry TD added: “My heart goes out to the decent volunteers and participants in boxing around the country who give so much time and effort to their communities.”
Mr Ross said the work done on the ground is “absolutely unparalleled” and many boxing clubs were manned by volunteers who do incredible work for their communities.
He praised volunteers in the boxing world and wanted to say “well done. We will support you. You are doing a great service and we know that you have absolutely nothing to do with what’s going on.”
Earlier Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Jim O’Callaghan said that Fury, Joshua, Sky Sports and others should inform themselves about the activities of the Kinahan crime gang.
They needed to be made aware of the execution-type murders in drugs feuds.
“They can’t just hide from those facts because there is a lot of money to be made.”
Sinn Féin TD Darren O’Rourke said: “It’s really important the State make all its efforts to ensure professional boxing is not hijacked by elements that we wouldn’t like to see involved in it and that Ireland’s name continues to shine people strongly on the world boxing stage.”