The Ireland women senior team has lost “so many talented players” down through the years due to the poor pay on offer, according to international Louise Quinn.
She was speaking after the FAI announced that the men’s and women’s senior teams would receive the same match fees moving forward.
The men’s team has agreed to a pay cut to ensure equal pay moving forward.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Ireland and Birmingham City star Louise Quinn said the announcement marked a “massive day” for women’s football in Ireland.
“To finally announce it has been huge and even very emotional,” she said.
“We are incredibly proud of everything that has happened over the last four years, but it started way before that, with the players that came before that wanted to initiate and start something like this.”
She said the pay on offer to the women team has changed over the year – noting that, at one point, there was no daily pay on offer at all.
“It wasn’t even that thing where we felt like, at the time, that we had to compare ourselves to what the men were getting,” she said.
“We were just saying this isn’t right. This isn’t what it should be.”
She said the pay issue has pushed a lot of women out of the sport over the years.
“Absolutely, it 100% did,” she said.
“That was the problem. We were losing great teammates, talented players – we have lost so many through the system because they hadn’t been able to fully dedicate them to the national team because, when it was time to go on camps, they had to take their holidays and annual leave to go on internationals and do all of that unpaid. It just wasn’t financially possible.”
Quinn said there is now a pathway at both club and international level that makes it “completely achievable” for a woman to become a professional footballer “if you put your dedication and everything towards it.”
“Women will now be able to have that life balance where, you are going away on an international camp and all you have to do is think about the game at hand or the training at hand,” she said.
“Instead of thinking, oh no I need to try and get in touch with my boss and try and get time off but I also have my rent to pay next week – that was the scenario for so many people.”
She said there are “so many people” who deserve thanks for their work advocating for better pay and conditions for the women’s senior team over the years.
“Hopefully now we have really created the most realistic path to allow girls be on the Irish team without it having to be trouble, where you feel it is not worth it and how can I do it?
“Now it feels as if that is something that is so achievable.”