Club backs call for tragic death probe
County say parents of former rugby star Siobhan need assurance
The club where tragic rugby player Siobhan Cattigan starred have backed her family’s calls for an independent probe into the circumstances surrounding her death.
The 26-year-old, from Callander, passed away suddenly in November 2021, with the cause of her death never fully explained.
Her parents have claimed that rugby-related brain trauma was a factor in causing the decline of Siobhan’s health after she suffered two concussions while representing Scotland on international duty in February 2020 and March 2021.
As part of efforts to look into Siobhan’s case, her family and MSP Sue Webber had hoped to meet Scottish Rugby Union chief executive Mark Dodson last month to look into any potential failings in medical care.
But after that meeting was postponed, Siobhan’s family released a scathing statement on social media, calling for the set up of an independent inquiry and accusing the SRU of “dishonouring Siobhan’s memory” by failing to meet them.
In a statement released to the Observer, Stirling County have got behind the campaign for an investigation into Siobhan’s passing and said it wanted the family to be given reassurance that any concerns have been looked into thoroughly.
The statement said: “The Board of Stirling County Rugby Football Club (SCRFC) contacted the SRU, on behalf of our membership, to request an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding Siobhan’s tragic death and the subsequent handling of events by staff at Scottish Rugby.
“It was explained that a Scottish Rugby investigation is taking place and that the new Custodian Board, established in November 2022, will be seeking a clear understanding of the facts. The club is expecting an update in the coming weeks.
“Stirling County requested that the SRU keep Siobhan’s family updated about progress and listen to their concerns. It is known that efforts have been made to meet with the family.
“Siobhan was one of the finest rugby players to play for Stirling County and more importantly, she is remembered as an incredibly kind and thoughtful person. Losing Siobhan at such a young age was absolutely tragic and devastating for the club, particularly the women’s squad.
“The women’s team had only recently lost another much-loved player, Eilidh Mcnab, who died in a tragic accident.
“The women play with the names of Shibby and Eilidh on their shirts. The pain felt by Siobhan’s team-mates and friends is nothing compared to the pain felt by her family and partner.
“Our club wants to see the family assured that their concerns have been investigated thoroughly and to ensure that all involved are allowed the time and space to grieve the loss of a dear friend.”
In response to the Cattigan’s open letter, the SRU said that a meeting date between Mr Dodson and Ms Webber was to be set, with contact also made with Siobhan’s parents last year.
The SRU spokesperson also stated a “factfinding process” led by an external law firm was underway, with “significant time” being dedicated to ensure the issues were handled “thoroughly and sensitively”.
Our club wants to see the family assured that their concerns have been investigated thoroughly Statement released by Stirling County