Family of Siobhan Cattigan say they need 'answers' before grieving

Family of Scotland Women’s rugby star say they ‘cannot begin to grieve’ as they demand answers on why she died aged 26 after suffering concussion twice while playing for her country 

  • The back-rower died in Nov 2021 due to undetected rugby-related brain damage
  • SRU new chairman has since said they should have managed the situation better
  • The governing body were criticised for not holding an independent inquiry

The family of former Scottish rugby forward Siobhan Cattigan say they need answers before they can ‘begin to grieve’ her death. 

The 26-year-old back-rower died in November 2021 after undetected rugby-related brain damage caused a significant decline in her health, her family claim. 

Cattigan, who played 19 times for her country, suffered two concussions while on international duty and her family say she was not given the required assistance from the Scottish Rugby Union for brain injuries.

They have also criticised the governing body for not holding an independent inquiry into the circumstances that led to her death.

Now, in a family statement they have said: ‘There are those within Scottish Rugby who have questions to answer regarding the treatment, or lack thereof, towards Siobhan.

The Scottish back-rower played 19 times for her country before her death in November 2021

Now her family say that they need answers from the Scottish Rugby Union over her death

‘Mr [John] McGuigan [the SRU’s new chairman] contacted us some months ago to say he wished, as far as his capabilities would permit, to right the wrongs.

‘We are extremely grateful that he has acted with integrity, humanity and decency, reaching out to us from an organisation that had previously treated our family and, more importantly, Siobhan’s memory shamefully with unkind comments and disrespectful actions being made by senior executives.

‘Thank you to every single person who has supported our broken hearts and kept our beautiful wee girl’s memory alive, we have a long road ahead.’ 

Speaking at the Scottish Rugby annual meeting on Saturday, McGuigan said this ‘tragic situation’ should have been managed better by the body.

‘Having listened to the family I want on behalf of Scottish Rugby to say sorry,’ he said. 

‘Albeit Scottish Rugby did not intend to cause distress to the family through our actions, it’s clear we should have managed this tragic situation better.’

Cattigan played for Stirling County from 2014 until 2021 after attending university there as well.

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