by Frank Schnittger
Wed Dec 15th, 2021 at 10:45:31 AM EST
Irish rugby needs a ‘truth and reconciliation’ process
It's sad to see the obvious distress and discord in Irish women's rugby revealed by the letter to the government signed by 62 current and former internationals. The IRFU has rejected "the overall tenor" of the letter but must surely accept they have "lost the dressing room" as far as elite women's rugby is concerned.
The IRFU are perhaps particularly embarrassed by the letter at a time when they have just received a large subvention from the government to help them overcome their Covid related difficulties and when the men's professional game is going from strength to strength.
The lack of trust and confidence evinced by the letter signatories in those responsible for running the women's game does not bode well for the future. Perhaps it is time for a "Truth and Reconciliation" process within Irish rugby, chaired by a trusted and independent expert, to clarify the issues and map out an agreed pathway to a better future.
The many women who have given dedicated service to Irish rugby deserve no less. Irish rugby needs to rebuild the trust and confidence of a large part of its support base, and the many girls and women now taking up the sport need to be convinced they will be supported to reach their full potential. If Irish men can reach the top of the rugby world, why not our women?