RTE chiefs have refused to comment after social media users criticized the appearance of a boxer who praised Daniel Kinahan on the station’s ‘Special Forces Ultimate Hell Week’.
Eclan Geraghty (31), who was in the MTK stable set up by Kinahan in 2012, is participating in the grueling TV show which puts ordinary people through army special forces training.
Known as ‘Pretty Boy’, Geraghty has a record of 20-5 in his pro boxing career to date and was signed to MTK Global.
Geraghty, who has no involvement in crime, previously said that mob boss Kinahan was a “a great manager.”
Speaking in 2018 he said: “He was my manager, and he was a great manager, and great for boxing.
“He has no involvement in MTK anymore because of the likes of you writing in the paper saying all sorts of crap for a man with no convictions.
“If it wasn’t for him, boxing would have never got back going in Ireland and that’s a fact.”
However, a number of Twitter users this week slammed RTÉ for allowing Geraghty to appear on the show in the same week MTK Global were forced to close their doors.
When asked by the Sunday World, an RTÉ spokesman said: “We won’t be making a comment on this.”
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris urged sports personalities and businesses to consider their involvement with the Kinahan crime gang.
Mr Harris told a media briefing in Dublin City Hall that people who deal with those sanctioned are involving themselves with a criminal network.
He said they should look at their own businesses and relationships with their fans and consider whether this is something with which they want to be involved.
He said: “In terms of some individuals, prominent sporting individuals who are in some way connected with this grouping, I would say look at your sport, your fans, and think of your own reputation because this is a very serious announcement today after a large amount of work.”
A number of MTK boxers have come out to express their sadness after the boxing company announced they are set to cease operations.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the company said it had taken the difficult decision due to “unprecedented levels of unfair scrutiny and criticism”.
Taking to Twitter, Ohara Davies said that MTK “will be missed.
“Best management in the business @MTKGlobal will be missed, a great platform for small hall and also a top level fighters who will now have to find a new management team…”
“Very sad day for Boxing,” he continued.
“Shame on those who have caused this by spreading unfactual rumours.”
“Probellum is the future,” he said in another tweet.
Jay Harris also weighed in on the news.
Gutted @MTKGlobal has had to end. They have done so much for everyone of their boxers, took myself [from] nothing to fight for a world title in America in 18 months.
Lee Eaton added: “Best 6.5 years of my life!!! End of an era!!! Over & out.”
The news comes a week after Daniel Kinahan was hit with worldwide financial sanctions alongside his father Christopher Snr and brother Christopher Jnr by the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Authorities issued a $5 million bounty for information leading to the arrest or conviction of the three most senior members of the cartel group for smuggling narcotics to Europe, laundering money, and committing murders as part of its criminal enterprise.
Last week, MTK Global said it “will fully comply with the sanctions made by the US government against Daniel Kinahan.”
The statement from MTK reads: “As a business we have faced unprecedented levels of unfair scrutiny and criticism since the sanctioning by the US government of Daniel Joseph Kinahan.”
“It is a matter of public record that Mr Kinahan’s involvement in MTK ceased in 2017, and despite repeated reassurances in this regard, unfounded allegations about his ongoing association with us and our fighters persist.
“Since leading promoters have now informed us that they will be severeing all ties to MTK and will no longer work with our fighters, we’ve taken the difficult decision to cease operations at the end of this month.”
“MTK prospered because we always put the long term interests of our fighters at the heart of what we do.”
It adds: “Our priority in the weeks ahead will be to ensure that our world class boxers are supported to find new partnerships as swiftly as possible.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.