The future of the 140-year-old Athy Rugby Club is in serious doubt due to the club's difficulty in securing public liability insurance.

Athy said they are having "grave difficulty" trying to find an insurer because of two claims, one historic and one pending. 

The likes of Ireland international Joey Carbery, his Munster team-mate Jeremy Loughman and Ireland Under-20 full-back Martin Moloney have all come through the Athy ranks, but the gates of the old club could be closed within the next four days. 

A letter issued to members from honorary secretary Brendan Conroy outlined the scale of the problem facing the south Kildare club, which will be forced to fold its teams and close its grounds from midnight on Monday, 9 December unless they find a solution.

"Unfortunately Athy Rugby Football Club is experiencing grave difficulty in securing Public Liability Insurance due to an historic claim and a currently pending claim against the club," it reads.

"We are working with multiple brokers who have trawled the market on our behalf but, so far, all insurers have declined to quote for a public liability policy for the club.

"This is a club that has survived 2 World Wars and has been promoting rugby in the community since 1880 so we sincerely hope we will find a solution.

"Athy RFC has produced international and provincial players at senior, Under-20 and youth level and hopefully we will continue to produce more.

"The Executive Committee will continue to work tirelessly to try and secure insurance for the the coming year.

"However, as we may not get any quote, or any financially viable quote, we feel that we must notify the members of the possible closure of the club and grounds effective from midnight on Monday, 9 December 2019."

Earlier in the week Fine Gael TD for Kildare South Martin Heydon organised a meeting between a delegation from the club and Minister of State Michael D'Arcy, who has special responsibility for financial services and insurance.

"We're doing our best to get it resolved," Heydon told RTÉ Sport.

"I found out about it on Monday evening. Within 24 hours I had the chairman and the treasurer up meeting the Minister. We're trying to see what we can sort.

"The club has some steps it needs to take. We're hoping we can reach a resolution that will see the club being able to continue to field teams."

In a statement today, the IRFU said it is "unaware of the specifics" about this matter but that it hopes a resolution can be found "that ensures that the club can continue to operate without restriction".