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Safeguarding Policy

Girls playing rugby

The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) provides rugby activities to young people through participation in its clubs, Branches and through national programmes and events, including representative panels, mini and youth coaching and competitions, squad camps and participation programmes in schools and related youth events.

IRFU Child Safeguarding Statement

The IRFU is committed to the enjoyment of rugby by young people. It values and encourages the participation of parents, coaches and volunteers in rugby for participants under 18-years of age. The policy of the IRFU regarding safeguarding children is to respect the dignity and rights of Age Grade Players.

The IRFU will strive throughout its organisation and spheres of influence to promote, create and maintain safe environments for Age Grade Players. It will endeavour to maintain the key values of Respect, Inclusivity, Integrity, Excellence and Fun.

A detailed safeguarding policy can be found below and the Sports Councils’ Code of Ethics should be used where the IRFU has not published specific guidelines, in particular with regard to the principles to safeguard children from harm, outlined in part B of the full version of the statement.

Following a risk assessment for any potential harm to a child while involved in rugby we have identified areas of risk and the list of procedures to be put in place to manage these risks. These risks were categorised under the following headings Recruitment, Club and Coaching Practices, Reporting, Complaints, Facilities and Communication.

Part C (pages 3-6) in the detailed CSS, indicates the areas of potential risk of harm, the likelihood of the risk occurring, and gives the required policy, guidance or documents required to alleviate these risks. Our child safeguarding statement has been developed in line with requirements under the Children First Act 2015 and in Northern Ireland, the Club Framework for Safeguarding Standards.

In addition to the procedures listed in our risk assessment, the following procedures are in place as part of the IRFU Safeguarding Policy and support our intention to safeguard children:

  • Procedure for the safe recruitment and selection of workers and volunteers to work with children.
  • Procedure for provision of and access to child safeguarding training and information, including the identification of the occurrence of harm.
  • Procedure for the reporting of child protection and welfare concerns to Tusla (Ireland) and Gateway (Northern Ireland) through the National Safeguarding Officer and Mandated Person within IRFU: Anne Marie Hughes (contact below). The National Safeguarding Officer holds position of Relevant Person as per Children First Act.
  • Procedure for the management of allegation of abuse or misconduct against workers/volunteers of a child availing of our service and can be found in the case management policy.
  • Procedure for appointing a relevant person for the purposes of the implementation of this Child Safeguarding Statement.
  • Procedures to minimise risk of harm of a child have been put in place and are available in the IRFU Safeguarding Policy

All procedures listed are available on this website. The IRFU expects those involved within club age-grade rugby to adopt and supervise the implementation of these safeguarding principles and standards. The IRFU recognises that implementation is an ongoing process. It is committed to the implementation of this Child Safeguarding Statement and accompanying safeguarding policy to keep children involved in rugby safe from harm.

This Child Safeguarding Statement will be reviewed in March 2021, or as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which the statement refers.

For queries please contact Anne Marie Hughes

Download the full version of the IRFU Child Safeguarding Statement here

Download the IRFU Safeguarding Policy here