Railway Union RFC said they “are disappointed that what could have been a hugely positive article promoting women's rugby in Ireland at time of such achievement internationally has been reduced to stereotyping.”
The club explained that they were asked “by the IRFU to facilitate a journalist from the Sunday Independent who wanted to do a training session and a feature on women's rugby in light of Ireland's world cup heroics.”
Niamh Horan attended a training session with the women’s rugby squad and the resulting article was published in the Sunday Independent yesterday.
The article opened with the line “As I bent over with a blonde's hand slipping around the top of my thigh, I pondered how there are worse ways to burn calories on a sleepy Thursday evening” and it continued in the same vein.
Horan continued to use sexual innuendo for several more paragraphs before expressing her “relief” to hear that some of the players wore fake tan.
The pictures that accompanied the piece showed the journalist adopting "sporty" poses for the camera with immaculate hair and make-up.
The article received an overwhelmingly negative response with readers expressing their disgust at what they saw as clichés and stereotyping.
Ah lads I started my Monday off reading an article from Niamh Horan about hot lezzing it up non butchies who still are hot for menz #ragefit— Sonya D (@HunterSony) August 11, 2014
Women's rugby players are women too. Thanks Niamh Horan. I would never have known if it wasn't for your award winning reporting.— Michael McCarthy (@McCarthyMick) August 10, 2014
I've just read Niamh Horan's article in Sindo.I try not to curse on social media platforms,but it's taking all my resolve tonight...— Jacqui Hurley (@jacquihurley) August 10, 2014
"You're a woman journo, go play women's rugby."— Shane Hegarty (@shanehegarty) August 10, 2014
"But we still want every lazy stereotype going. "
Read that Niamh Horan garbage. Would be disgusted if I was female rugby player. That's not journalism, it's stereotpying.— Alan Smith (@alansmith90) August 10, 2014
The rugby club had initially appeared to support the article, saying on Facebook: “Great feature on the club in the Indo today, if a tad risqué with a few of the usual stereotypes thrown in!”
They have since edited the comment and said it was posted by a single individual and was not representative of the opinions of most of the people in the club.
They then posted the statement explaining how the article came about and expressing their disappointment. The full post can be read on their Facebook page.
Neither Horan nor the newspaper has made any comment so far in response to the criticism.