Senator Leyden drops ball with rugby remarks






Fianna Fáil Senator Terry Leyden says he regrets “ill-informed” comments he made to Minister Denis Naughten regarding women’s rugby.

  It was reported in Monday’s Irish Times that Senator Leyden had claimed he had read research which said rugby was not recommended for young women.

  The remarks were made to Minister Naughten during a Seanad discussion regarding free-to-air sports.

  Senator Leyden said: “I am not a doctor, but it’s very rough. It is a bit more physical than soccer or Gaelic football.

  “I’m just saying, be careful. I don’t want to see anyone endangering their health and wellbeing.”

  He continued by saying that he wasn’t a great advocate of women’s rugby, before adding: “I think there are certain games more suited to women, and I do not mean to be discriminatory.”

  Senator Leyden released a statement later on Monday apologising for his comments.

  “I regret the offence caused to women’s rugby by my recent comments. I have been contacted by a number of people regarding the participation of women in rugby and realise that my point of view is ill-informed.”

  Senator Leyden went on to highlight the work being done to make the game more accessible to all.

  One such initiative in Co. Roscommon had recently received the support of his daughter and Cathaoirleach of Co. Roscommon, Orla Leyden.

  Senator Leyden said: “I have been made aware of many recent excellent initiatives around the county including one that was recently launched in Co. Roscommon, a partnership between Connacht Rugby, Creggs RFC and Roscommon County Council with the co-funding of a Club Community Rugby officer which will enhance the development of rugby in Roscommon.”