Ireland women's team reach "comprehensive agreement" with FAI following lengthy talks

Members of the Ireland women's national team at their press conference on Tuesday
Members of the Ireland women's national team at their press conference on Tuesday

The Republic of Ireland senior women's national team and the FAI reached an agreement in the early hours of this morning following mediation talks last night.

The FAI released a statement at 3.25am, reporting that discussions between both sides "came to a successful conclusion earlier this morning".

They said "issues to be addressed", as outlined by the players, were successfully resolved.

The players confirmed that they will now return to training today in preparation for their international fixture against Slovakia on Monday at Tallaght Stadium.

The Association added they are "pleased that both sides have reached common agreement and a settlement, which allows the two parties to move forward together as one, in the best interests of Irish football".

Representatives for the Irish women's soccer team were locked in intense mediation talks with the FAI in a bid to resolve the row over pay and conditions until the early hours of the morning.

Former trade union leader Peter McLoone acted as appointed mediator.

The talks came after the Republic of Ireland's women's national team held a press conference on Tuesday with representatives from the Professional Footballers' Association of Ireland and Siptu, protesting against their treatment by the Football Association of Ireland.

Match fees for international fixtures and tracksuit issues for travelling members of the team were among the concerns raised.

Yesterday, Sports Minister Patrick O'Donovan said there needed to be a change in our national "mindset as to how we view the role of women in sport".

Mr O'Donovan said: "I think it's in everybody's interest that first of all there will be no strike, and secondly, for the players concerned, I'm sure that their only concern is to be in the best possible place they can be to prepare for the game next Monday."

He said he wanted the matter "sorted soon" and "for a process to be put in place".

"I don't believe for one minute they want to be in the space that they're in and I think that everybody needs to come to an accommodation on it," he said.

"It's 2017 and that's not good. That's why everybody's reaction to this when it came out in the media over the last 24-48 hours was the same: it's not good."

John Delaney, CEO of the FAI, commented yesterday, saying; "As you know I've been away the last number of days but as I understand it mediation has been agreed."

Mr Delaney had said he "just hopes all the matters get resolved", while refusing to comment directly on the matter.