Some of Ireland’s top sporting stars, including Dan Connor, Orla Brennan, Stephen Cluxton, Brona Furlong, Leo Cullen, Ashling Dyer, Mags Darcy and Brian Begley, joined the Minister of State with responsibility for Trade and Commerce, John McGuinness, T.D., to launch the National Standards Authority of Ireland’s (NSAI) Standards in Goalpost Safety at Croke Park on Wednesday.
Standards I.S.356 and I.S.357 were developed in response to fatal accidents. The standards were launched on Wednesday alongside a National Awareness Campaign on Goalpost Safety by the various sporting organisations.
Commenting on the publication of the Standards, Minister John McGuinness, T.D., said: “The world of Irish sport is united today to ensure the health and safety of our sports people. In recent years there have been a number of serious accidents, some involving children. Today we are putting these standards in place in order to prevent such accidents happening again and to ensure accountability, responsibility and above all safety in the world of sport.”
Speaking at the launch, Enda McDonnell, the Director of Standards, said: “Goalpost safety is everyone’s responsibility. We all must be aware of the risks and dangers that can result from goals not being installed, anchored, maintained or stored correctly.
“These standards now put codes of practice in place which sporting bodies and organisations can adhere to across all sports, including soccer, rugby, GAA and camogie. We are delighted to welcome some of Ireland’s top sporting personalities here today and look forward to a safer playing field for our sports stars of the future.”
In 2003, the State Claims Agency was commissioned to carry out an assessment of goalposts in a sample of Community and Comprehensive Schools. It was found that many of the goal frames used were unsafe due to improper design, manufacture and installation.
In August 2004, the State Claims Agency contacted the NSAI following the tragic death of a young Limerick boy. The Committee on Goalposts was established in 2005 and consists of representation from the various sporting organisations (FAI/IRFU/GAA/Cumann Camogie); the State Claims Agency; Department of Arts, Sports and Tourism; Technologists; County Councils; Department of Education and Science; Irish Sports Council and Manufacturers.
Standard I.S.356 Playing Field Equipment – Goals, addresses functional and safety requirements and test methods for portable and fixed goals.
I.S.357 Playing Field Equipment – Goals, focuses on Codes of Practice on the Procurement, installation, maintenance, storage and inspection of goalposts.
The National Awareness Campaign on Goalpost Safety will be rolled out through each of the National Governing Bodies of the GAA, FAI , Cumann Camogie, & IRFU from January 2008 onwards. They have made a commitment to provide the appropriate information throughout their organisations through their regional affiliates, thereby ensuring that the appropriate information gets filtered down through to provincial, county and club level. All stakeholders will be informed through the National Awareness Campaign of their role in promoting the safe use of goals.