Sinn Féin meets Cycling Ireland over Worlds selection controversy

Posted on: October 13th, 2018

A Sinn Féin delegation has met with Cycling Ireland and SportNI to raise the party’s concerns about how the Irish team was selected for the Innsbruck Worlds. In that delegation was Philip McGuigan MLA, above, a club cyclist who has also raced (Photo with many thanks to Gordon Parker)


Sinn Féin raises concerns with Cycling Ireland over Worlds team


Sinn Féin has met with Cycling Ireland to discuss the controversy around the Irish team selected for the World Road Championships.

Two very strong junior and U23 teams were picked for the road races and TTs in Innsbruck last month.

However, national junior road race champion and top-ranked junior in the country Adam Ward was not picked.

Also not selected was U23 national champion Darnell Moore, who also placed 2nd in the elite road race at the nationals.

Appeals were held and the team make-up was revisited but not change in the final line-up took place.

Michaela Boyle MLA had expressed concern in recent weeks about Ward, one of her constituents, not being selected.

She raised his case with Sport Northern Ireland. And she asked that agency to speak to speak to Cycling Ireland.

After that contact the appeal process took place and the Worlds late went ahead with the initial teams.


Adam Ward Irish junior road cycling champ

Darnell Moore cycling championships

Adam Ward and Darnell Moore winning the Irish junior and U23 road titles respectively back in June (Photos: Sean Rowe)


However, Sinn Féin has continued to pursue the case and has now met with Cycling Ireland to outline its concerns.

Sinn Féin MLA’s Michaela Boyle and Philip McGuigan have met with Sport NI and Cycling Ireland.

They discussed the selection criteria for the Irish team and what they termed “general procedural issues”.

Boyle said: “We had a positive meeting with Cycling Ireland and SportNI where we raised issues.

“(These) included the transparency and processes relating to the selection of riders for the most recent World Championships.”

Also discussed was what Boyle described as Cycling Ireland’s “heavy reliance on generic subjective selection criteria”.

“I raised specific concerns around perceived conflict of interest and the need to ensure maximum transparency,” she said.

“We welcome the recent commitment from Cycling Ireland that they are undertaking a review of the high performance unit.

“At my request SportNI, together with Sport Ireland, will provide best practice guidance and independent oversight to build confidence in the review.

“All parties have agreed to meet again soon to discuss progress and ensure the relevant support mechanisms are in place to facilitate a meaningful review with achievable outcomes.”

Philip McGuigan MLA said other riders were reluctant to come forward about how teams are picked.

“A common theme raised in the aftermath of the recent selection process was a reluctance of riders to come forward to voice their concerns,” he said.

McGuigan believed their reluctance arose because over the “fear of facing repercussions when seeking selection” for future races.

“Cycling Ireland have assured us that they will treat any further information in the strictest of confidence,” McGuigan, himself a club cyclist, said.

“And (Cycling Ireland) confirmed that any riders who have raised issues with the processes will not be negatively impacted in future event selections.”