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The Saturday Panel discuss sexual harassment and dressing room culture

Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

08:41 30 Nov 2019

Former Wexford hurler Diarmuid Lyng says he would like to go back and talk to his younger self about how to better respect women amidst a sporting environment.

Lyng was speaking on the Saturday Panel discussing sexual harassment and dressing room culture as part of the Department of Justice's 'No Excuses' campaign alongside Chelsea coach Lisa Fallon and Cliona Sadlier of Rape Crisis Network.

Lyng recalled his own experiences within dressing rooms and cited uncertainty in oneself as a fuel for the negative dressing room culture.

"When you're in a WhatsApp group with that dressing room culture one of the things that I would have experienced at least is that anything that I was uncertain of or unbalanced in myself that I was looking outside for validation, or for further understanding, or for a role model, or for a type of behaviour.

"When I was looking for those things, and when they came in the shape of a dressing room culture that was less than positive, that intensified and increased the chances that I would begin to embody that.

"Now, that is not to say that they were responsible for my actions that subsequently would have damaged other people. Ultimately, I took my imbalance and uncertainty into the environment and then that proliferated in that lack of understanding.

"For me, I definitely find that it's self-responsibility for males in sport and what I feel in these conversations, I am talking to my 23-year-old self, and my 20-year-old self, and 16-year-old self, who didn't respect women in the way that was suitable to the type of people who they were."

These are lessons that Lyng says he has learnt from and something he hopes the next generation in sport and life can too.

"I definitely want to talk to that young fella and I think to the current crop who are coming up through the organisation or locker rooms of the day and look for probably more positive role models definitely and also call our sporting organisations to task about the type of environments we are creating in how we view high performance culture to be."

The Saturday Panel this week was in association with the Department of Justice's 'No Excuses' campaign. 'Enough is enough' - Let's stop excusing sexual harassment and sexual violence. Learn more at gov.ie/noexcuses or in an emergency call 999.

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