Monday 24 September 2018

Rugby players 'will continue to be relieved of all duties' while IRFU review in process

IRFU release statement following rugby rape trial 'not guilty' verdicts

Ireland and Ulster rugby player Paddy Jackson leaving Belfast Crown Court. Photo: Mark Condren
Ireland and Ulster rugby player Paddy Jackson leaving Belfast Crown Court. Photo: Mark Condren
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The IRFU have confirmed the rugby players found not guilty in the high-profile rape trial will "continue to be relieved of all duties" while a review committee is in process.

The IRFU released a statement this afternoon following the verdicts in the high-profile rugby rape trial.

In it, they said the IRFU and Ulster Rugby had postponed any internal review of the matter with the players involved until the proceedings concluded.

They said they will now review the matter, "in line with existing procedures for all contracted players".

Ireland and Ulster rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding were found not guilty by a jury of raping a young student at a house party two years ago.

Jackson (26) was also found not guilty of sexually assaulting the then 19-year-old woman.

The rugby players' close friend Blane McIlroy (26) was found not guilty of exposure.

A second friend, Rory Harrison (25), was found not guilty of perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

After three hours and 45 minutes of deliberation, the jury of eight men and three women returned to courtroom No 12 shortly after noon and told the judge they had reached a unanimous verdict on all counts.

The IRFU released a statement following the verdicts, which read;

"The IRFU and Ulster Rugby note the verdict handed down today at the Belfast Crown Court in relation to the case brought against Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding. We wish to acknowledge that this has undoubtedly been a difficult and extremely traumatic time for all involved.

"To respect the judicial proceedings, the IRFU and Ulster Rugby postponed any internal review of the matter with the players, until the proceedings concluded.

"IRFU and Ulster Rugby officials will review the matter, in line with existing procedures for all contracted players. A Review Committee, made up of senior representatives of the IRFU and Ulster Rugby, has been appointed and will conclude its review as soon as practicable.

"The players will continue to be relieved of all duties while the Review Committee is in process and determining its findings."

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News