Newry boxer set to appeal deselection from Commonwealth games

March 12, 2018

A solicitor for champion boxer Conor Wallace says he is convinced the 21 year old will be exonerated by the NI Commonwealth Games Council (NIGC) after being dropped from the Northern Ireland team last week ahead of the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Australia’s Gold Coast next month.

The NICGC confirmed on Wednesday last that an unnamed athlete had been deselected from TeamNI.  The Games Council told the BBC it was “not at liberty to discuss the matter any further.” 

“The NICGC are investigating all options regarding a potential replacement athlete, working within the comprehensive selection process which has been running for the last 18 months, and any decision will be notified within days,” a spokesperson added.

In January, the Newry boxer posted a video on Facebook defending himself against speculation after footage emerged of him being confronted by “vigilantes” at the Canal Court Hotel in the city.  During the encounter, the group which consisted of both men and women, made a number of allegations against the middleweight boxer, streaming it live on Facebook where it was viewed by thousands.  Later that day, Mr Wallace took to social media to confirm that he had not been arrested but was instead escorted from the area by police for his own safety.

In the wake of the All-Ireland champion’s commonwealth deselection, police confirmed they were “investigating a complaint against a 21-year-old from the Newry area in relation to offences concerning child protection”.

Fisher and Fisher solicitors in Newry, who are acting on Mr Wallace’s behalf, say the young boxer is “devastated” at being cut from the NI team and that they would prefer the situation to be worked out with the responsible sporting body rather than consider taking court action.  The firm warned that if the decision is not reversed however, “we will have no option but to seek an injunction.”

“Our client has not been arrested or questioned by the police. We are convinced that Mr Wallace will be exonerated in due course,” added a legal representative.

It was announced on Thursday that sprinter Amy Foster has been added to the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games athletics team following the “withdrawal of an athlete from another sport”.