News & Media

Election of Ann Heneghan welcome step towards gender equality in sport

15 September 2020

Statement by Senator Mark Wall
Spokesperson on Defence, Tourism and Sport
Mark Wall

The election of Ann Heneghan as the first ever female President of Connaght Rugby and the first woman to head an Irish province is a welcome step towards gender equality in sport and sends an important message to women involved in sport according to Labour Spokesperson on Sport, Senator Mark Wall.

Senator Wall said:

“I would like to sincerely congratulate Ann Heneghan on her new role on behalf of the Labour Party and on becoming the first woman to head an Irish Province. Ann’s election is a huge progressive step for Irish rugby sends an important message to women involved in sport all over Ireland that they can aspire to be a leader in their field, and it is also fantastic to see a woman rise to the highest level of provincial rugby.

“However, while her election is a huge step forward for women in sport, there is still a mountain to climb in terms of achieving gender equality in sport most notably in relation to the startling pay inequality that exists in many sports such as football and rugby where the winner of the Six Nations men’s event will receive £5 million and the women’s team nothing.

“I hope the election of Ann Heneghan will inspire more women to get involved in sport but that it will also draw attention to the very few women involved in professional sport at a senior level and of the discrimination that exists against women in sport.

Galway City Councillor Niall McNelis added:         


“I would like to congratulate Ann on her fantastic achievement which I think shows how important grass roots mentoring of women in sport is and highlights how progressive Connacht rugby is and I hope other provinces will follow their lead.