Sport Ireland Statement: Allegations of abuse by FAI coaches in the 1990s

07 Jul 2024
Stephen Walsh

Sport Ireland is aware of the recent RTÉ and Sunday Independent investigation which has revealed serious allegations of abuse brought forward by women involved in Irish soccer in the 1990s.  

Sport Ireland commends the women who came forward for their strength and courage. 

As this is now a matter for the Gardaí and relevant authorities, we will not be commenting further on the specific allegations.

Sport Ireland believes that everyone involved in sport, at all levels, should be able to enjoy an experience that is free from any form of abuse.   

Athlete welfare must be a top priority for all National Governing Bodies (NGBs). All NGBs must follow their safeguarding procedures and fulfil their duty of care.   

Sport Ireland, established in 1999, works with NGBs to ensure that appropriate policies are put in place to take a proactive approach to safeguarding by identifying and mitigating risks to player welfare. Sport Ireland also works with NGBs to ensure mechanisms are in place to appropriately react to and handle complaints or issues when they arise.   

Sport Ireland has written to all 65 NGBs to remind them of their responsibilities and that their policies and procedures regarding player welfare must be up to date and fit for purpose.   

Reporting and support services   

If there is a criminal aspect to complaints or allegations it should be reported to An Garda Síochána or Tusla Child and Family Agency, which has statutory authority to investigate all such allegations.  

The FAI has asked that anyone who experienced harm or abuse because of their involvement in Irish football to contact Raiseaconcern, an independent contractor which it has hired to take statements from complainants.  

The contact numbers for Raiseaconcern are 01 6107929 or 086 0299929. Individuals can also email  

If you are upset by what you have read or have experienced abuse and need to report it, seek information, or access support, there are several specialist services available to help. These include:  

  • Connect is a free telephone counselling and support service for any adult who has experienced abuse, trauma or neglect in childhood. Web: Helpline: Republic of Ireland: 1800 477 477; UK and Northern Ireland: 00800 477 477 77. Phone: (01) 865 7400  
  • The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre is a national organisation offering a wide range of services to women and men who are affected by rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment or childhood sexual abuse. Web: Helpline: 1800 77 88 88. Phone: 01 661 4911. Email:  
  • One in Four offers a voice to and support for women and men who have experienced sexual abuse and/or sexual violence and also to their family and friends. Web: Phone: 01 662 4070. Email: 
  • The LGBT Helpline is a national support service for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people, their families and friends. Web: Helpline:1800 929 539. Phone: 01 685 9280. Email: 
  • Cuan is a statutory agency under the remit of the Department of Justice dedicated to tackling and reducing domestic, sexual and gender-based violence. Web: Always Here Campaign