The former Scotland international passed away in 2021
A tribute for former Scotland Women’s international Siobhan Cattigan was held before the kick-off of Scotland v Ireland in the Guinness Six Nations on Sunday.
Cattigan, a No 8 who won 19 caps for Scotland, passed away in 2021 aged just 26. In an interview last year with The Sunday Times, Neil and Morven Cattigan described how their daughter’s mental health deteriorated after she suffered brain injuries while training/playing and ultimately led to her death.
The Cattigans claim requests for specialist medical support from the SRU were turned down, with Neil saying in the article: “They fixed her broken bones but turned their backs on Siobhan’s broken brain.”
The family were also critical of the SRU’s actions following Cattigan’s death, claiming players were told not to attend the funeral or to contact the family.
An SRU statement at the time said the article “made for challenging reading” and added: “If any of Scottish Rugby’s actions following Siobhan’s passing have made that more difficult, then we do, of course, apologise sincerely.”
Ten minutes before the start of Scotland’s Round Four clash against the previously unbeaten Ireland, an image of Cattigan together with an image of a ‘Shibby 8’ Scotland shirt were displayed on the big screen with the crowd encouraged to join in the minute’s applause.
BBC presenter Gabby Logan introduced the tribute while also mentioning that the family had described it as “dishonourable”.
The Cattigan family wanted the tribute to take place closer to kick-off with the players on the field.
In a statement, Neil and Morven said: ““No top will be laid on the pitch. Her image will be portrayed on the screen [approximately ten minutes] before kick-off, whilst the players are inside. A reply from us stated we felt this was dishonourable [and] simply want Siobhan acknowledged [and] honoured as befitting a . . . 19-capped player.
“This has been refused. The players will not be on the pitch whilst Siobhan’s image is shown as the SRU are unwilling to disrupt pre-match preparations.”
An SRU statement read: “As part of the pre-match presentation the crowd will be asked to stand for a minute’s applause to acknowledge Siobhan, while her picture and a shirt carrying the “Shibby 8” wording are displayed. Scottish Rugby also remains open to developing a cup or bursary in Siobhan’s memory.”
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