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Investigation reveals allegations of sexual harassment of female former players in the FAI
Coleman Legal LLP
July 07, 2024
RTE Investigates and the Sunday Independent carried out a joint investigation into claims of unwanted and inappropriate sexual advances experienced by female footballers in the 1990s at the hands of FAI coaches.

The allegations against one senior coach include

  • Sexual advances towards women while they partook in an FÁS course, which was the first state-funded soccer course exclusively for women.
  • A senior coach, then aged 31, took an 18-year-old female participant on “dates” and promised to advance her career. She also states that he pinched her crotch at a dinner event.
  • Another woman, then 21, who was on the course, went out with the coach and had sexual intercourse with him.
  • Another trainee alleges that the same coach made unwanted sexual advances to her in a changing room.

In March 2024, the FAI issued the coach a “stand down” order. An Garda Siochana are currently investigating a complaint against the coach.

Allegations against a second senior coach

  • Ireland’s first black international player described how the manager kissed her in a hotel room. She was never selected for the national team again after the incident. Another former player describes a similar advance in a hotel room.
  • The manager has also been accused by former CEO of the FAI of a “homophobic rant” against gay female players.
  • Another female player felt “stigmatised as a gay woman” after the manager allegedly said that he was “getting rid of the lesbians”.
  • A former player also states that she was “exiled” from the team for 2 years by the manager when she allegedly witnessed his inappropriate behaviour.

The former manager was also stood down earlier this year. Both men deny the allegations made against them.

How can Coleman Legal LLP support you

If you have experienced sexual harassment, abuse or violence, please don’t hesitate to contact the specialist team at Coleman Legal LLP to discuss how we might assist you in complete confidence.

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Clodagh Magennis

Clodagh Magennis

Head of Client Services

F: 1800-844-104
E: [email protected]

At Coleman Legal, excellence in customer care is paramount. We aim to meet both prospective and existing clients’ needs professionally and in a friendly manner with a clear objective of giving quality legal advice and reaching a positive outcome.

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