Today's meeting is convened with representatives from the Irish Athletic Boxing Association, IABA, and Sport Ireland to discuss governance in the IABA. I welcome our witnesses to the meeting in committee room 1. First, I welcome IABA chairman, Mr. Ciaran Kirwan, and Mr. John Treacy, chief executive of Sport Ireland, who are with us in committee room 1. I also welcome the following representatives from the IABA who are joining the meeting remotely via Microsoft Teams, Mr. Fergal Carruth, CEO, and Mr. David Britton, national operations manager. Finally, I welcome Mr. Paul McDermott, director of high performance and the national governing bodies with Sport Ireland, who will be joining our meeting via Microsoft Teams. They are all very welcome.
I do not think anyone will mind if I take this opportunity either to congratulate or commiserate with Mr. Treacy, who is about to leave Sport Ireland after many years. I thank him for his willingness to engage with this committee and for his thorough reports to and constant co-operation with it. I thank him very much and wish him the very best of luck in his retirement.
The format of the meeting is such that witnesses will be invited to make opening statements, which will be followed by questions from members of the committee. As the witnesses are probably aware, the committee may publish the opening statements on its website following the meeting.
Before I ask our guests to deliver their opening statements, which are limited to three minutes, I would like to advise them of the following in relation to parliamentary privilege. Witnesses are reminded of the long-standing parliamentary practice that they should not criticise or make charges against any person or entity in such a way as to make him, her or it identifiable or otherwise engage in speech that might be regarded as damaging to the good name of the person or entity. Therefore, if their statements are potentially defamatory in relation to an identifiable person or entity, they may be directed to discontinue their remarks. It is imperative that they comply with such direction.
Members are reminded of the long-standing practice to the effect that they should not comment on, criticise or make charges against any person outside the House, or an official, either by name or in such a way as to make him or her identifiable. For anyone watching today's meeting, in most instances Oireachtas Members and witnesses may now be physically present in the committee room. It is great to have people physically in the room rather than just talking to the screens or, worse, to ourselves.
I remind members of the constitutional requirement that members must be physically present within the confines of Leinster House. They may participate while sitting in their offices provided they are within the confines of Leinster House. If attending in the committee room, members are asked to exercise personal responsibility in protecting themselves and others from the risk of contracting Covid-19. They are strongly advised to practise good hand hygiene and leave at least one vacant seat between them and others who are attending. They should also maintain an appropriate level of social distancing during and after meetings. Masks should be worn at all times during the meeting except when speaking.
I also ask members, please, to identify themselves when contributing for the benefit of Debates Office staff preparing the Official Report. Members should mute their microphones when not contributing to reduce background noise and feedback. I also ask that they use the raise hand button if they wish to contribute and are on a screen. I remind all those joining today’s meeting to ensure mobile phones are on silent or, better again, switched off.
Most members have had an opportunity to look at our running order. My colleagues will each have five minutes for questions and answers. There may be an opportunity for a second round. Without further ado, I will ask Mr. Kirwan to make his opening statement.