Ireland women's squad to return to training as issues resolved

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Stephanie Roche, Louise Quinn and Sophie Perry applaud fans following a 9-0 win over Montenegro at Tallaght Stadium in 2016. Credit: Laszlo Geczo

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The Republic of Ireland senior women's national team will return to training ahead of their friendly international fixture against Slovakia on Monday after their issues were successfully addressed in mediation with the FAI.

 

Members of the squad held a press conference in Dublin on Tuesday where they raised a number of concerns with respect to their treatment by the national body.

 

The mostly non-professional team had concerns over the lack of compensation for loss of earnings, match fees or bonuses provided for time spent representing their country at the highest level.

 

International players had previously been entitled to per diem expenses of €30 to help cope with the financial cost of joining up with international squads.

 

Ireland captain Emma Byrne also referred to the 'humiliation' of having to change at airports and return squad tracksuits to the association to be used by underage teams.

 

At the press conference, held at their union SIPTU's headquarters at Liberty Hall, 125-time capped international Byrne said: “Over 60% of the current squad are non-professional.

 

“Many careers outside the game are put on hold and it is becoming financially unrealistic to continue under the current parameters

 

"We are elite athletes and compete on the world stage, yet our treatment is far from where we feel it should be.

 

"With increased investment into the team, and us as players, we feel we have a greater chance to qualify for tournaments on a regular basis and individually reach our full potential as international players.”

 

Those concerns now appear to have been addressed to the satisfaction of all parties with the release of the latest statement by the sport's governing body.

 

The FAI statement read: “Discussions between both sides came to a successful conclusion earlier this 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.

 

“The Association is pleased that both sides have reached common agreement and a settlement, which allows the two parties to move forward together as one, in the best interests of Irish football.”