Union Cup To Name Women's Tournament Trophy After Ann Louise Gilligan

Dublin will play host to the Union Cup 2019 – Europe’s biggest LGBT+ inclusive rugby tournament.

At the Union Cup launch, Katherine Zappone sits in the stands at the Aviva Stadium holding a trophy

The organisers of the Union Cup, the LGBT+inclusive rugby tournament, announced that the trophy for the women’s tournament will be named in honour of Ann Louise Gilligan.

It could not be more fitting that the announcement of Ann Louise Gilligan being honoured is taking place on the fourth anniversary of Marriage Equality. Ann Louise and her partner, Minister Katherine Zappone, were pioneers in the battle for equal marriage.

They had previously married in Canada in 2003 and fought tirelessly for their marriage to be recognised in Ireland. Dr Gilligan sadly passed in 2017 following a short illness.

Richie Fagan, Chairman of this year’s Union Cup, announced: “We are wholly honoured to dedicate the first ever Women’s Union Cup to this incredible woman. We thank Ann Louise Gilligan and her inspirational spouse, Minister Katherine Zappone, for their contribution not only LGBT+ community, but for equality for all and the greater good of our country.

“As we passionately promote rugby as a sport for all, we feel it’s absolutely apt to recognise the contribution Ann Louise made. In 2015 we achieved Marriage Equality for the LGBT+ community, now we’re asking Ireland to stand in support of diversity and inclusion in rugby at Union Cup Dublin!”

Minister Zappone responded: “I sincerely thank the Union Cup and the entire rugby community for the great honour they have bestowed on my beloved Ann Louise. She shared the Irish passion for sport and would be thrilled to be remembered in such a way.”

“Sport is the lifeblood of our country, and should be open and accessible to all. The Union Cup is a huge opportunity to show this in action. It will again place Ireland as an international leader in terms of equality, fairness and justice. I encourage everyone to come out and support this fantastic event.”

Tickets for events are now available and all profits will go to support BeLonG To, the charity to support LGBT+ youth.

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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