Northern Ireland news

Video: Belfast councillors vote to keep boxing funding after protest

Boxers protesting outside Belfast City Hall. Picture by Hugh Russell

AMATEUR boxing funding will continue after Belfast city councillors voted against a planned cut.

At a meeting last night, councillors discussed claims that a funding agreement had been scrapped without any explanation.

Earlier, more than 100 members of boxing clubs in counties Antrim and Down held a protest outside Belfast City Hall against the cut.

The clubs said two paid boxing development jobs would be scrapped.

Two-time Olympic bronze medallist Paddy Barnes from the Boxing Association in Antrim claimed the council had decided to cut funding by 88 per cent.

Paddy Barnes' father Paddy Barnes senior discusses the impace the propsed cuts could have had

"The strategy was agreed three years ago to last until 2020 and we want answers why the funding has been cut by so much," he said.

Mr Barnes told the BBC some council members had said they would try to "boost the funding through an under spend in the city council" at the meeting.

"It would be good if that happened but it's the bigger picture here. We want this to last until 2020," he said.

A council spokesman said last night it had agreed to funding of £45,000 a year.

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