Wednesday 18 September 2019

Northern Ireland football star (23) convicted of distributing indecent image of a teenager

Jay Donnelly plays for Cliftonville. (stock picture)
Jay Donnelly plays for Cliftonville. (stock picture)

Stephen Looney

Irish Premiership star Jay Donnelly has been convicted on one of two charges involving an indecent image of a teenager.

The 23-year-old Cliftonville forward will likely be sentenced in January after entering a guilty plea to the charge of distributing an indecent image last Friday.

Another charge of making or taking an indecent image was withdrawn, and both counts pertained to the period between June and October 2016.

It is not known how his conviction will affect his club career at Solitude, as the North Belfast club has been playing him as usual since news broke that he was to face charges.

Donnelly is regarded as one of the brightest talents in local football, and plays alongside his elder brother Rory.

The pair made the news last April when they comforted a man in distress on a roundabout on the M2, returning from a league game.

The Donnelly brothers were praised after getting out of the car to listen to the stricken individual, said to have been in an agitated state, until police arrived to take control of the situation.

Rory Donnelly moved from Cliftonville to Swansea City in 2012 for a fee approaching a quarter of a million pounds, and returned to Solitude last year after stints at Tranmere Rovers and Gillingham.

Cliftonville are currently fifth in the Danske Bank Premiership after winning the title in 2013 and 2014.

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