The committee of the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) have unanimously approved proposals to increase representation of women on it's committee to 40% by the end of 2023 provided the newly agreed proposals are approved at its annual council meeting taking place in July.
In December, Minister for Sport Catherine Martin emphasised the Government's warning of "financial consequences" for National Governing Bodies (NGB's) that do not reach the 40% target by the end of 2023. Details of these financial consequences are currently still being worked on.
The Minister of State for Sport Thomas Byrne told the Dáil last week that officials are to discuss the level of funding cuts that would apply with Sport Ireland and that no decision had been made yet “as to where the significant funding cuts would be if boards don’t meet these reasonable targets”.
Women's representation on the IRFU's committee currently stands at 13%, represented by 3 women out of a committee of 23. The IRFU stated on Wednesday their commitment to adopting this target.
IRFU chief executive Kevin Potts said: “The IRFU has committed to achieving 40 per cent gender representation on the Union Committee by the end of this year.
“Today’s announcement is further affirmation of our commitment to women in rugby in Ireland.”
When looking at the "Big Three" NGB's in Ireland - the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) and the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), all three have boards made up of less than 40%, with the GAA on 21% and the FAI on 25% and the IRFU significantly behind on 13%.
While little more will be known before July, the IRFU have said they will continue to engage with the four provinces and other stakeholders on the details contained in the proposal in the meantime.