External and objective process has finished after tragic death of No 8 in 2021
The SRU has confirmed that an external review into the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of former international No 8 Siobhan Cattigan in 2021 has concluded.
The game’s governing body in Scotland conducted an objective “fact-finding exercise” led by law firm Pinsent Masons LLP after Cattigan passed away in late 2021 aged just 26.
At the time of her passing, the Cattigan family said: “It had got to the point where she could no longer live with the pain in her head and Siobhan succumbed to an irrational thought and impulsive action”.
Scottish Rugby released a statement which stated: “The Scottish Rugby Limited (SRL) and Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) Boards met on Friday, 7 July, to discuss the results of an objective fact-finding exercise commissioned by SRL into the events and circumstances before and after the tragic passing of Scotland international Siobhan Cattigan in November 2021.
“The external review was undertaken by Pinsent Masons LLP, following its instruction in the summer of 2022. The review’s scope included – but was not limited to – examining some specific questions and allegations raised either directly to Scottish Rugby or through the media.
“Siobhan’s passing is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS). Scottish Rugby is committed to providing its full support to the investigations undertaken by COPFS.
“Scottish Rugby is determined to share publicly as much of the review as possible. That being said, her passing may be the subject of a civil legal claim. Therefore, Scottish Rugby is carefully considering what information is legally appropriate and possible to share publicly at this time. Legal advice from Pinsent Masons has been sought in this regard.
“If any lessons can be learned by Scottish Rugby from the decisions taken and events occurring around Siobhan’s passing, we are fully committed to doing so. As a matter of practice Scottish Rugby continuously reviews its existing processes to ensure they support a well-established and unwavering commitment to player welfare. This is a focal point in light of this current review. Scottish Rugby has contributed extensively to international medical studies and player guidance around concussion awareness for the past decade.
“Actions taken by Scottish Rugby that are considered at the forefront of the sport globally include:
- Playing a central role in developing the now globally recognised ‘If in doubt, sit them out’ concussion awareness guidance, in place since 2014.
- Launching the UK’s first Brain Health Clinic at Murrayfield in 2022 to enable former international players to manage their mental health and well-being.
- Being one of the first Unions starting in 2021 to bring in mouth-guard technology to increase knowledge of head impacts on professional players.
“Scottish Rugby’s leadership wishes to express its deepest and most heartfelt sympathies to the Cattigan family, Siobhan’s friends and teammates during what continues to be a very sad, challenging and difficult time. Scottish Rugby remains willing to meet and engage with the Cattigan family should they wish.”
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