By Brendan O'Brien
Munster have declared that the embarrassing mix-up over a player review report was a result of basic "human error" and vowed that the embarrassing situation will not happen again in the future.
Head coach Anthony Foley and CEO Garrett Fitzgerald both addressed the media on the matter at Thomond Park today, six days after the evaluation document was mistakenly emailed to the province’s players.
"There was an accidental dispatch of an email on Wednesday the 27th," said Fitzgerald. "Within a very short space of time, all the recipients were notified - I think within an hour - and every effort, as would be normal, was made to retrieve the data on the email.
"Following that, there was a full review of what happened and we're completely satisfied it was a human error and we have taken all the steps necessary to address the issue and to make sure it doesn't happen again."
Munster sought legal advice from their solicitors Ronan Daly Jermyn on the matter and duly notified the Data Protection Commissioner who expressed their satisfaction with the steps taken by the province once the issue came to light.
"They've registered the letter and accepted it and they don't intend to take any further action on it at this point in time,” said Fitzgerald.
He added: "It is a simple, rolling document that is updated from time to time and the information is usually dealt with between the individual and coaching staff."
Fitzgerald has already spoken to a number of players about the matter and intends to discuss the matter with more, though he acknowledged that there would always be some people unhappy in a squad that contains over 40 players.
It was Foley who insisted that it “will never, ever happen again” and he was asked how he would have digested the material had he still been on the playing staff rather than the management staff.
"The first thing you [as a player] ask is 'why?' and then you make sure there's no malicious intent in it,” he said.
"Is this information I would have gotten anyway? The players would get this information anyway as part of our ongoing review to make us a better team, trying to make them better.
"That's only one aspect of the document, but you [a player] would wonder would you have seen this information. Once you're satisfied that it was human error, the information was accurate and the coaches could stand over it, I would accept it."