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.
We have some special news! In honour of a pioneer of equality and a patron of sport, the first Union Cup women’s tournament will see teams compete for the Ann Louise Gilligan Cup. Her spouse, Union Cup ambassador Minister Katherine Zappone offers a welcome to participating teams. pic.twitter.com/tDurlNexSx
— Union Cup – Dublin 2019 (@unioncuprugby) May 20, 2019
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!”
Today is the 4th anniversary of the Marriage Referendum in Ireland. Today is also Mark Bingham’s birthday, a true pioneer of gay and inclusive rugby! Today we honour him! Join us on June 8 & 9 at DCU to see for yourself https://t.co/b0GFwVed4V #TryWithPride #rugbyforall pic.twitter.com/z4eaqVXm9b
— Union Cup – Dublin 2019 (@unioncuprugby) May 22, 2019
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.”
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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