Scottish Rugby Issues Apology to Family of Siobhan Cattigan
Scottish Rugby has apologized to the family of Siobhan Cattigan, a Scotland Women’s back-rower who tragically passed away at the age of 26 in November 2021. Cattigan’s family believes her declining health was linked to undetected rugby-related brain damage and claims that she did not receive sufficient support from the governing body.
In a meeting personally led by the newly appointed chair, John McGuigan, Scottish Rugby acknowledged that they could have managed the situation better and expressed heartfelt apologies to Cattigan’s parents and partner. McGuigan promised to make changes within the organization to prevent similar occurrences in the future.
Cattigan’s family firmly believes that Scottish Rugby should have done more to support her and her memory. They criticized the governing body for not conducting an independent inquiry into the circumstances surrounding her death. They also raised concerns about the lack of support Cattigan received for her brain injuries.
The SRU faced further criticism for failing to inform Cattigan’s teammates of the family’s wishes for them to attend her funeral. Additionally, they were criticized for not paying tribute to her at an international match until 18 months after her death. Scottish Rugby takes responsibility for mishandling certain aspects surrounding Cattigan’s funeral and acknowledges that the tribute at Murrayfield prior to the Six Nations game against Ireland in 2023 was poorly handled and should have occurred earlier.
In response to these criticisms, Scottish Rugby has committed to ongoing discussions with Cattigan’s family to determine actions that can be taken together to honor her memory. The governing body vows to support the family’s efforts in maintaining Cattigan’s legacy within the sport.
The apology and commitment made by Scottish Rugby marks an important step towards acknowledging the mistakes made and working towards a safer and more supportive environment for all participants. The tragic loss of Siobhan Cattigan serves as a reminder of the importance of rigorous player welfare measures and highlights the need for improved support systems within rugby at all levels. Forever Sports Online will continue to follow this story and provide updates as more details emerge.
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