The County Kildare-based club can now remain operational

Insurer Aviva has prevented 140-year-old Athy Rugby Club from shutting down by providing the sports establishment with public liability insurance.

Earlier this week, the County Kildare-based club’s executive committee wrote to members, informing them that it may have to close its doors because it had been unable to purchase public liability insurance.

The letter, sent on Wednesday, explained that Athy Rugby Club was struggling to secure public liability insurance due to two claims – one historic and one pending.

The Irish Times reported the club’s letter as saying: “We are working with multiple brokers who have trawled the market on our behalf but, so far, all insurers have declined to quote.”

On Tuesday, a club delegation met with Michael D’Arcy, minister of state – who has responsibility for insurance - and Kildare South teachta dala (TD) Martin Haydon, a member of the Irish Parliament.

The letter reportedly read: “Both men have promised to do what they can to help but have emphasised that there may not be much they can do in the short term.”

Good news

Athy Rugby Club has this afternoon confirmed that it has now secured public liability insurance with Aviva; the terms for the policy were agreed through the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) and Aon.

In a statement, the club said: “Athy RFC can confirm that we have agreed terms through the IRFU and Aon for insurance cover with Aviva Insurance. We are, therefore, pleased to confirm that this matter has been resolved and that we can continue to focus on developing this successful rugby club for the benefit of our members.

“The executive committee at Athy RFC also wish to acknowledge the huge volume of support we received from the rugby community as a whole. Our own membership was unwavering in their support, leaving us in no doubt about what a great club we are part of. Rugby players and supporters everywhere were ready to do anything they could to help our club in its hour of need.

“To Martin Heydon TD, minister of state Michael D’Arcy, Leinster Rugby and the IRFU, thank you for mobilising quickly when it was needed. To all who tried to find insurance cover for us, especially Wright Insurance Brokers in Carlow – thank you.

“To everyone else that helped and supported us, please accept a heart-felt thank you from everyone at Athy RFC.”