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  • Senator Sharon Keogan

Fair Competition at all levels of Women's Sports in Ireland

Updated: Mar 21, 2022

We have many strong sportswomen in this country who have made a big name for themselves worldwide and we are very proud of their success. The introduction of self ID legislation poses a threat to the fairness of women's sports in Ireland.

Under the 2015 Gender Recognition Act, anyone can legally change their gender without having undergone any medical or social transition, allowing male-bodied athletes to compete against female athletes in women’s single-sex sports categories.

In 2020, US President Joe Biden dismantled the Title IX provisions, allowing biological males to compete in female sport. Since then, the sporting world has looked on in disbelief as a man who previously swam in U.S elite men’s college competition now claims to identify as a woman, and has just gone on to win and set records in three different events.

This same individual will compete against an Irish female Olympian in a collegiate competition in the coming month, so already we can see the impact this is having on our sportswomen.

The publicly funded lobby group Transgender Equality Network Ireland is campaigning for ‘inclusion’ in sport – this is a misnomer. What this lobby group is actually seeking is the erasure of the single-sex female category and its replacement with a mixed-sex one. This will obliterate fair competition in women’s sports and endanger female athletes in contact sports.

Women’s sport is “worth protecting”, and that ultimately, “bodies play sport, not identities.”

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