Ballincolling women's coach Fiona Hayes is upset and embarrassed at the decision by the Munster Rugby branch not to proceed with a motion at the province's AGM that would have bestowed senior status on the club.
All men's and women’s team operating in the AIL in Connacht, Ulster and Leinster have 'senior’ status, which provides better access to committees and increased international ticket allocations.
In a statement, Ballincollig said they were "shocked and disappointed", while director of rugby Denis Stevenson told the Irish Examiner: "We feel let down. We were told this would be in hand, there were 130 people in the room and when it came to the motions we were told that the women’s motions were withdrawn. No reason given."
The Munster branch said that it supports the motion but a review of relevant bye-laws and engagement with the stakeholders was needed.
Former Ireland player Hayes also outlined her disappointment when speaking to RTÉ's Morning Ireland: "Obviously we're the only club affected by this at the moment and I must stress, at the moment. There could be a lot of clubs down the line where their women's team reaches the AIL, but if they don't have a senior men's team they won't be considered a senior club."
Hayes added that Ballincolling, as a club, had done the groundwork in preparing the motion for the AGM.
"I'm just really disappointed that there was a lot of work gone in in the background. Denis Stevenson, Thérèse Ahern and president Jim Nyhan would have done a lot of work in getting that motion into Munster and pushing the women's team throughout the season.
"As players and as a coach it was so disheartening for us because we know the club values equality and they want to recognise us as senior players. They understand the training the girls do and they understand the commitment that it takes.
"For me looking at my players and what they do, it doesn't say a lot for the game when you're not considered senior club basically based on gender.
"It passed in Leinster, through a lot of work by Railway Union, passed in Connacht and Ulster. So Munster is the only club at the minute behind the curve.
"Going forward I hope the motion is put forward at the next AGM, that a vote will take place and that it will be passed as soon as possible. It upsets me and embarrasses that we are behind the rest at the minute."