Thursday 17 January 2019

Paddy Jackson to sue Senator over tweet after 'not guilty' verdict

Aodhán Ó Riordan
Aodhán Ó Riordan
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

LAWYERS for Paddy Jackson have indicated he intends to take a libel action against Labour Party senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin.

The former minister tweeted about the Belfast trial shortly after the jury cleared Mr Jackson of rape.

His comment questioning the outcome, which was reposted hundreds of times, made reference to “smug well-connected middle-class boys”.

In a statement this afternoon, KRW LAW said it had no option but to issue Notice of Intention to sue Mr O Riordain “for defamatory comments”.

Senior Associate Marie Hans of KRW LAW solicitors said: “I can confirm we have issued pre-action libel correspondence against a named Senator in the Republic of Ireland.

"The legal action relates to a tweet sent to a number of other persons before it was eventually taken down."

Paddy Jackson speaking outside Belfast Crown Court. Photo: PA
Paddy Jackson speaking outside Belfast Crown Court. Photo: PA

She added: “We will not hesitate to repeat similar legal action against anyone, who deliberately or otherwise, sees fit to attack our client.

"We are examining carefully every item of social media commentary which seeks to challenge the integrity of the jury’s full endorsement of our client’s innocence. High court proceedings will issue shortly in both Belfast and Dublin."

Mr Ó Riordáin is a former Labour minister, and current Senator.

He told RTE News that he has no comment to make on the matter.

Mr Jackson (26) from Oakleigh Park, Belfast, and his Ireland teammate Stuart Olding (25) of Ardenlee Street in the city, were found not guilty of raping the same woman at a house in south Belfast on 28 June 2016.

Mr Jackson was found not guilty of a further charge of sexual assault.

Blane McIlroy (26) of Royal Lodge Road, Belfast, was found not guilty of exposure while Rory Harrison (25) of Manse Road, was found not guilty of perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

On Wednesday, all four men were found not guilty of all charges.

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