Saturday 21 October 2017

Revealed: The women's national team will receive tracksuits and full requested match fee in landmark deal

EXCLUSIVE

Republic of Ireland women’s team captain Emma Byrne, centre, with teammates, from left, Karen Duggan, Aine O’Gorman, Claire Shine, Niamh Fahey, Jetta Berril, Ruesha Littlejohn, Niamh Reid-Burke, Katie McCabe, Julianne Russell, Megan Campbell, Diane Caldwell, Stephanie Roche and Louise Quinn. Photo: Cody Glenn
Republic of Ireland women’s team captain Emma Byrne, centre, with teammates, from left, Karen Duggan, Aine O’Gorman, Claire Shine, Niamh Fahey, Jetta Berril, Ruesha Littlejohn, Niamh Reid-Burke, Katie McCabe, Julianne Russell, Megan Campbell, Diane Caldwell, Stephanie Roche and Louise Quinn. Photo: Cody Glenn
Ger Keville

Ger Keville

The Ireland women's football team will each receive the full €300 match fee they sought following last night's agreement with the FAI.

SIPTU and Professional Footballers' Association of Ireland (PFAI) representatives secured an agreement with the FAI after nine hours of talks which ended at 4am on Thursday. 

Stuart Gilhooly, solicitor for the PFAI, this morning said that there is a confidentiality agreement and while he can't disclose the terms of the agreement, he did say that the issues raised at the Liberty Hall meeting were "addressed".

Independent.ie understands that all of the main requests have been met with the only stumbling block the FAI's refusal to deal directly with the PFAI in the future. The players' body will, however, be involved in a collective capacity should any future talks be held.

Each Ireland player will receive a flat €300 match fee with a win bonus of €150 for competitive games and €75 for a draw, as outlined in the players' document during their press conference in Liberty Hall earlier this week. Players who have to take unpaid time off while representing their country will also be remunerated.

Independent.ie understands that the women's national team will be supplied with their own tracksuits following the contentious revelations that players were forced to change out of their Ireland apparel in airport toilets because they were needed by underage sides.

Former trade union leader Peter McLoone acted as mediator in last night's talks and he liaised with all the stake holders, including 16 of the squad who were present, in different rooms while FAI CEO John Delaney was also in contact by telephone from Helsinki where he was elected onto Uefa's Executive Committee. 

Earlier today, SIPTU services division organiser Ethel Buckley said: "This landmark agreement was only possible due to the organisation, bravery and commitment of the national-team players. Their courageous action in publicly outlining their concerns provided their union representatives with a solid foundation from which to engage with the FAI and find a just resolution to this dispute.

"The events of the past two days amount to a short, sharp and successful campaign to advance the rights of women in sport. They are also a reminder that, in any area of modern Irish society, women should never accept being treated as second-class citizens."

PFAI player executive Ollie Cahill added: "The PFAI would like to thank SIPTU, who stood by us and guided us throughout this dispute. We would also like to thank the public for getting behind our union and supporting these inspirational women, and we now look forward to these players taking women's football in Ireland to the next level."

The FAI confirmed on Thursday morning that talks had led to all issues being resolved and that the players would resume training ahead of Monday's friendly against Slovakia.

Its statement read: "The Football Association of Ireland and the Republic of Ireland senior women's national team have reached agreement, following mediation talks.

"Discussions between both sides came to a successful conclusion earlier (on Thursday) morning, where all 'Issues to be addressed', as outlined by the players, were successfully resolved.

"Following the positive outcome to the mediation process the players confirmed that they will return to training today, in preparation for their international fixture against Slovakia on Monday at Tallaght Stadium."

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