Players sue Irish union in concussion case
NEWS: Three former players, including two Ireland internationals, have issued legal proceedings against the Irish Rugby Football Union that are reportedly related to alleged concussion injuries.
Former Test players David Corkery, 49, and Declan Fitzpatrick, 39, are taking the action along with Ben Marshall, 32, a lock for Irish provincial sides Leinster and Connacht.
The Irish Independent said the players had launched proceedings in the High Court in Dublin on Wednesday.
All three are being represented by Maguire McClafferty, a law firm that announced last year it was preparing a number of rugby concussion cases.
Former flank Corkery, won 27 caps for Ireland while Fitzpatrick, a prop, made seven Test appearances.
The lawsuits are against a number of provincial Irish rugby clubs, the IRFU and World Rugby, the global governing body.
The IRFU said in a statement it would be “inappropriate” to comment on these cases directly”.
“People in rugby have been moved by the personal accounts of former players as reported in the media,” it said.
“Player welfare is of paramount importance to the IRFU and we are constantly reviewing safety protocols for all players.”
There is growing concern within rugby about links between the game and long-term brain injuries.
The legal case in Ireland comes after another group of former rugby players decided to sue World Rugby, England’s Rugby Football Union and the Welsh Rugby Union for allegedly failing to protect them from permanent injury.
The claimants include ex-Wales captain Ryan Jones and England’s 2003 World Cup-winning hooker Steve Thompson.
Many of that group have been diagnosed with early-onset dementia and other irreversible neurological impairments.