Ballincollig head coach Fiona Hayes said she was “upset” and “embarrassed” by the Munster Branch’s decision to withdraw an application at last week’s annual general meeting which would have resulted in the Cork club being stripped of senior status would have been awarded.
allincollig are the only of 60 clubs competing at All-Ireland League (AIL) level that do not have senior status, meaning they do not receive benefits such as a men’s international ticket allocation.
The club have already issued a strong statement making it clear they are vehemently opposed to the Munster Branch’s decision, which has drawn heavy criticism from a number of quarters, including current and former Irish players.
Ballincollig said they were “shocked” and “disappointed” and their head coach has echoed those sentiments.
“Obviously we are the only club affected at the moment and I have to stress at the moment,” former Ireland international Hayes told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.
“There could be many clubs whose women’s team reaches the AIL, but if they don’t have a senior men’s team then they are not considered a senior club.
“I’m just really disappointed that so much work has been done behind the scenes. Denis Stevenson (President), Thérèse Ahern and President Jim Nyhan would have done a lot of work to bring that motion to Munster and push the women’s team forward throughout the season.
“It was so disheartening for us as players and as coaches because we know the club values equality and they want to recognize us as experienced players. They understand the girls’ training and they understand the commitment it takes.
“When I look at my players and what they’re doing, not being considered a senior club because of gender doesn’t say much about the game to me.
“He passed Leinster, passed through a lot of work by Railway Union, Connacht and Ulster. This makes Münster the only club behind the curve in the minute.
“For the future, I hope that the motion will be brought to the next AGM, that a vote will take place and that it will be passed as soon as possible.
In a statement released last week, Munster Rugby said it had postponed the application “to allow time for proper consultations with all key stakeholders”.
“Motions submitted last week proposed changes to the Munster Rugby Branch bye-laws in relation to the All-Ireland League (or its equivalent) and senior club status, both terms representing the men’s and women’s game. “
https://www.independent.ie/sport/womens-sport/it-doesnt-say-a-lot-for-the-game-when-youre-not-considered-a-senior-club-based-on-gender-ballincollig-coach-fiona-hayes-41518597.html “It doesn’t say much about the game if you’re not considered a senior club because of your gender” – Ballincollig coach Fiona Hayes