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Friday 1 December 2023 Dublin: -2°C
Leah Farrell via
mixed martial arts

Ross welcomes cancellation of MMA event planned for weekend

Safety concerns surrounding the event had been raised.

MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT Shane Ross has welcomed the cancellation of a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event that had been planned to take place in Monaghan on Saturday evening. 

Ross said that it was brought to his attention by the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council that the emergency medical services at the planned event, Battle Arena 56, “would have fallen far short of the recommendations of the Dublin Coroner in the inquest following the death of Joao Carvalho”.

He added that it would have involved people who have not been not licensed in this jurisdiction.

“One can only react with dismay that any organiser of such an event would take such an approach with the health and safety of its participants,” Ross said. 

It is frankly unimaginable that any event promoter in this country is unaware of their obligations to ensure that any event of this nature does not expose the participants to an unacceptable level of risk and injury. 

In a statement on Facebook, Battle Arena Ireland, the group behind the event, said that it had asked a company from Northern Ireland to work at their show and it was expected that its paperwork “would have been processed in plenty of time for our event”. 

“Unfortunately this did not happen.. yet the replacement crew that was put in place (The Irish Red Cross)(PHECC accredited) were also not permitted to work the event,” Battle Arena Ireland said. 

“This situation is outrageous and is certainly not in the best interest of fighter safety.”

Battle Arena Ireland said it has been in contact with the gardaí regarding the event.

The group has said it will return and that it is “already looking for a new venue and date”. 

Joao Carvalho

Joao Carvalho (28) died in hospital two days after he received 41 blows to the head during a Total Extreme Fighting contest at Dublin’s National Boxing Stadium on 9 April 2016.

An inquest into his death heard from a neurosurgeon who raised concerns over the presence of suitably qualified medical personnel at the event.

The Irish MMA community subsequently agreed to establish an appropriate governing body for MMA in Ireland, which could ultimately be recognised by Sport Ireland.

Among the proposals touted for regulating the sport were the creation of a database of participants’ medical status, the implementation of medically supervised suspensions, and verifiable processes for taking medical examinations and confirming their results.

In his statement this evening, Ross said: “To be fair, there are some MMA event promoters who have ensured their events are as safe as possible and have ensured that their events abide by the recommendations of the Dublin Coroner in the inquest following the death of Joao Carvalho.”

He urged “all promoters to follow that example and fully implement the expected minimum safety standards for those participating and they should give due consideration to cancelling it if they cannot implement these basic precautions in full”.

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