Irish Women's football team reach agreement with FAI after 'humiliating' working conditions strike threat
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Irish Women's football team reach agreement with FAI after 'humiliating' working conditions strike threat

THE Irish Women's Senior football team have reached an agreement with the FAI after they threatened to strike following claims of 'humiliating' working conditions. 

The team, who are scheduled to play against Slovakia in Dublin next Monday, April 10, had revealed a series of issues with the FAI in an explosive press conference on April 4.

At the 'last resort' conference, the team revealed how they had to share tracksuits with the underage team, and change in public toilets before matches.

Also included on the list was access to nutritional programmes, gym membership, hotel accommodation with Wi-Fi access, more home-based training, match fees, team apparel to be provided prior to travelling and loss of earnings for non-professional players who had to taken unpaid leave from work to attend training and match days.

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Republic of Ireland Women's Press Conference, Liberty Hall, Dublin, with Stephanie Roche, Aine O'Gorman and Emma Byrne with members of the women's national team. (Picture: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer)

In the early hours of this morning, the FAI, the players and trade union SIPTU announced agreements had been reached between the team and the Association.

"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," a statement from the FAI said.

"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."

Captain Emma Byrne, and forwards Stephanie Roche and Áine O'Gorman also tweeted their joy at the resolution of issues.

Byrne, who also plays for Brighton and Hove Albion said it was "tough" but showed unity was a "powerful force."

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Áine O'Gorman said she was looking forward to getting back to training, and the team "stayed strong together."

Meanwhile, Stephanie Roche thanked the public for their support.

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Ethel Buckley, who represented the team on behalf of SIPTU said it was a "landmark agreement" and advanced the rights of women in sport.

“This landmark agreement was only possible due to the organisation, bravery and commitment of the national team players.

"Their courageous action in publicly outlining their concerns provided their union representatives with a solid foundation from which to engage with the FAI and find a just resolution to this dispute.

“The events of the past two days amount to a short, sharp and successful campaign to advance the rights of women in sport.

"They are also a reminder that in any area of modern Irish society women should never accept being treated as second class citizens.”