From left: Paddy Jackson, Stuart Olding, Blane McIlroy and Rory Harrison

RTÉ reports:

All four defendants in the Belfast rape trial have been found not guilty on all charges.

Ulster and Ireland rugby player Paddy Jackson has been acquitted of rape and sexual assault, while his team-mate Stuart Olding has been acquitted of rape.

Blane McIlroy has been found not guilty of exposure. Rory Harrison has been found not guilty of perverting the course of justice and not guilty withholding information.

Jackson and Olding acquitted of rape charges (RTE)


This afternoon.

Scenes outside Belfast High Court.

From top: Stuart Olding, Rory Harrison; Blaine Mcllroy and Paddy Jackson.



It begins.


Broadsheet contributor and commenter Shayna, who was part of the jury, has asked us to remove her comments on this post.

300 thoughts on “Not Guilty

        1. Solomon

          11, and 3 of them were women. Now where`s the backlash against the female jurors that aquitted the rabble.

    1. Owen C

      Why on earth would the Irish rugby team comment on this? If you got into a spot of bother with the law in your private life, would you expect all of your work colleagues to issue a statement condemning your actions?

        1. Owen C

          So depending on the severity of your legal problems, your work colleagues should publicly express condemnation of any allegations and perhaps even when you are then found not guilty?

          1. Owen C

            The jury obviously believes that, which, incidentally, is the only opinion that actually matters in this case. So, anyway, back to your original point that you didn’t answer – should people’s work colleagues put out public statements of condemnation in regard to allegations and not guilty verdicts concerning private (not related to work) legal matters?

          2. Ina

            Not really. They’ll never play professional rugby again. So they’ll be punished in that way, which is a good thing. A court also found the Birmingham Six guilty.

          3. Owen C

            Yes, jury’s are not infallible. But you said that no one believed they were not guilty, which was obviously wrong, and now you’ve changed tack on people’s work colleagues needing to make a statement in regard to allegations concerning your private life. It’s unclear what is any point you are still trying to make at this stage.

            Oh, and they’ll play professional rugby again, just probably not on this island.

          4. Johnny

            Work colleagues-they play a stupid Brit game which they thankfully tarnished.
            Playing rugby is hardly “work” it’s played by privileged,immature,entitled idiots most of whom including that tool claiming it’s Ireland’s national sport,suffer neurological deficits from banging their heads.
            WTF is a “scrum”- grown men having a group hug,where the lock put his hand again…
            The less heard from rugby players the better.

          5. mildred st. meadowlark

            Great addition j-man, but take your embittered rant elsewhere and let the grown ups talk.

          6. Johnny

            what’s with all the blocking and tackling,it’s not work,they are team mates,not co workers.
            it’s a sport not a career,to equate it with anything other than a sport is wrong.
            they are entertainers,nothing else,paid to play a game.
            stick to the fanfiction.

          7. rotide

            it’s a sport not a career
            paid to play a game

            It takes a special level of stupidty to directly contradict yourself in the space of two sentances. Congratulations

    2. Mourning Ireland

      I will never watch Rugby again. Untill Dr Rhona Mahony togs out. How many points do you get for a conversion again?

  1. Martco

    a unanimous decision in just 3hrs 45mins…multiple careers & reputations in tatters…nothing nice

    could we do another drinking thread maybe?

    1. mildred st. meadowlark

      Agreed. Careers ruined and every aspect of their private lives brought out for examination. Wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

      Now back to the alcohol thread…

      1. Martco

        d’yknow Mildred
        just passed a place called Gowran Park, somewhere I had often heard of on radio but had never imagined nor seen, what a lovely pretty place I’d imagine attending a racing day there would be fab!
        there’s probably a few other off beaten spots like that around the country I should see, any recs?

        1. mildred st. meadowlark

          Not in Dublin, but if you’re ever in Donegal check out Glenveagh National Park. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Wild and bleak, but absolutely beautiful, and loads of history. Also, if you have a chance, look in at the butterfly garden. Its a real treat in summertime.

          1. Neilo

            I get up to Glenveagh every year and it is magnificent. The drive from Doochary to Churchill takes you right through the park and the walk down to the lake is glorious, too. Not so much of a treat in high summer when you’ll be ‘et alive’ by the midges!

          2. Martco

            thanks a mil! I’m gonna spend the next bit of work when I should be working time :) researching that & promise I will go there this year by hook/crook

    2. :-Joe

      Where’s the drinking thread and how does it work?

      I need a few scoops and belts after reading the comments on all this…
      – mostly elsewhere I have to add..

      Glug,glug… sorry couldn’t wait…


  2. Harry Molloy

    Not surprised at the verdict.
    Very surprised deliberation was only 2 hours for 4 individuals!
    Must have been unanimous on the first vote?
    It must also have been quite an ordeal sitting on that jury.
    We might hear more now that the trial has been concluded that might explain how they reached a verdict so quickly. Or not.
    All in all, a very sordid affair at the very least.

    1. wellness

      I began this case believing the complainant ,but in light of hearing all the evidence I believe that justice has been served. A very sad affair for all involved, but there are many questions to be asked of the PSNI and the way in which such trials are conducted in the North.

    2. rotide

      It seems like the eyewitness that walked into the room swung it very heavily in favor of the defence.

    3. Spud

      Not surprised either at verdict.
      They probably had their decision made a good while ago.
      That 2 hrs or so was just to have a cuppa.
      I was a jury member in a rape trial before and it was clear what verdict was going to occur before we were even directed by the judge.
      We nearly felt bad to come back so soon, so just killed time asking to see another piece of evidence, making tea and eating the free biscuits until it look like we had ‘deliberated’ enough.

  3. Bertie Blenkinsop

    An awful lot of ruined lives, I’m very surprised squarehead was found not guilty of perverting the course of justice mind you.

      1. The Old Boy

        It does stink, but for a different reason in my opinion.

        The case against him was rather flimsy as far as a charge of perverting the course of justice goes. I think he was brought in to the joint trial in order that his defence case would make the other defendants look more inconsistent, which is improper.

      1. Frilly Keane

        It was tagged into the rape trails to endeavour to loosen the rape charges from taking a firm position

  4. Neilo

    On a slightly less queasy and disturbing note, the real question that haunts me is:

    Couldn’t Paddy Jackson afford a suit?

    Plain jacket with chinos – at least go for a patterned tie or pocket square.

        1. painkiller

          I’m here to line up with the white knights, if you’ve room for one more…

          Seriously, it’s the facts of the case and the weight of the evidence against them in light of the verdict reached that you should be focusing on.

          I couldn’t give a damn if he was wearing Borat’s mankini – and neither should you, if you are truly white knights that is!

  5. Friscondo

    After all those weeks of evidence, 4 verdicts in under 4 hours. Must be some sort of record! Can anyone honestly say they’d want any of them near their daughter, sister, cousin, etc. Their mothers must be very proud. Party in Ollie’s tonight then. Sickening.

  6. Murtles

    The was suspect evidence given on both sides, we my never know the true events that happened. First time I seen a rape trial go on that long or has there been others?

  7. Nigel

    Not surprised. She had four lawyers dragging her over the coals over and over again, four lawyers making opening and closing remarks, hammering home their arguments over and over again, to her one. It was an ugly spectacle. Even the admitted behaviour of the defendants was utterly vile and despicable. I hope it haunts them.

    1. some old queen

      Exactly. Even if rape did not occur, the way they treated that girl was disgraceful.

        1. The Ghost of Starina

          That is called the “chilling effect”. it’s when the risk of losing everything outweighs the pursuit of justice. This sort of comment is exactly why women don’t report sexual assaults.

          1. curmudgeon

            So its only the men who can be publicly questioned and have their reputations ruined? Women are always the victim and should be believed no matter what is that how you see things?

          2. Nigel

            That’s setting someone up for death threats and rape threats and possible actual physical danger – hey rape victims, come forward and if your case comes to trial, these are the consequences if you lose!

        2. some old queen

          All victims have the right to anonymity, even post trail. And btw, a jury can make a best guess based on the evidence presented but the only people who really know what happened were those who were actually there.

          Like others have said, even now I wouldn’t let those boyos anywhere my daughter.

          1. curmudgeon

            What about the if you were the victim of a false rape allegation that completely ruined and publicly humiliated you?

          2. Listrade

            What about if there was an easy way to see that women where a woman has made a false accusation of rape is prosecuted and you can see that they are named. If I could think of a way I’d call it something like Boogle, Doogle, or something.

            Anyway, it’d be a simple way to stop you posing pseudo-hypotheical questions that are easily dismissed. If only it existed.

            For the record, a Not Guilty verdict doesn’t mean a false accusation. It isn’t either or. It is entirely possible that her complaint was genuine, but there wasn’t sufficient evidence to prove the offence.

            But good for you. You come across as a pleasant human.

          3. some old queen

            This was not a normal rape case. In her own words she said she was going up against Ulster Rugby. People will make their own minds up.

        3. Brother Barnabas

          @curmudgeon: not really. to start with, a not-guilty verdict doesn’t actually mean or imply that she was lying – it means that the allegation couldn’t be proven beyond reasonable doubt. that’s how justice system works.

          and making this a men v women thing is really off. rape is an exceptional crime because there’s still stigma attached to it (and if you think there isn’t, just review the questions and suggestions put to the woman in this case). only around 15% of rapes are reported, if anonymity was removed, it would be even less. that’s why anonymity was introduced to begin with. and you’ve also got to consider that a lot of rape/sexual abuse cases involve sometimes years of grooming, manipulation etc where the victim is made feel that they won’t be believed / are to blame etc

          removing anonymity would be wrong for so many reasons

          1. curmudgeon

            Uhuh so basically youre still ok with naming and shaming the alleged? No inocence until proven guilty for them eh

    2. mildred st. meadowlark

      Very good point Nigel.

      I can’t imagine any of this was pleasant, for anyone involved. An awful six weeks. There are no winners here at all.

          1. The Old Boy

            It’s very easy to have a crack at the legal profession, but remember that the vast majority of people working in criminal law do so for a fraction of the money that their colleagues in the corporate and commercial world earn.

            The legal aid system isn’t the gravy-train it is popularly supposed to be and actual hourly earnings of £10 or so aren’t uncommon in a lot of cases.

          2. Harry Molloy

            that’s true to be fair, most, from what I’ve seen, just genuinely love and respect the law and due process.
            countless exceptions of course

  8. Alex Francis

    Didn’t hear any women on international womens day a couple of weeks ago supporting the one woman on the island that needed more support than any other. Again today that girl at the centre of this needs help and support from all women. Will she get it?
    Stand In Awe Of All Mná . Indeed.

    1. Nigel

      Yeah, really need to get attacking Mna Na hEireann after this, that’s just what’s called for.

      1. Listrade

        I’m guessing you don’t know any women then, or at least women have made a justifiable decision to avoid your company. I mean, even cursory glance over the comments here about the trial as it was going on would show a lot of support for her from women. But why let that stop you?

        Why not pick an arbitrary date and make an arbitrary statement about women not speaking up on that particular date.

        But that’s ok, you’re right, the ones who are really to blame for this whole thing are the women who didn’t overtly support the girl directly in front of you on the date and time of your choice.

        1. francis almond

          My experience of women would span the gamut of princess to whore.

          I’m not sure the comment section of Broadsheet is the finest platform of support.

          I said she needs support. Will she get it?

          Is there a single female public figure in Ireland that voiced their support for this girl on social media or any media??

          1. Listrade

            Wait have you switched up usernames? Hard to follow.

            Here’s the problem: was there a single woman who voiced support? Yes. Hundreds. The fact that between your “Princesses and Whores” you missed a quite universal and consistent support is your issue and your burden, not the women who were giving it.

            And guess what happened when they did give their support? Go on, guess. Do you think it was received without criticism? At its most pleasant they were told that it is unfair to comment on an ongoing trial. At its worst it was abusive.

            So yeah, they did and in their numbers. But they were told to shut up and now you’ve taken it upon yourself to double down on talking effluvia and still making it about women being at fault.

          2. rotide

            I have to disagree about the victim in this case recieving universal support from women. That really wasn’t the case in my experience.

            Note that I’m deliberately ignoring twitter.

          3. Listrade

            That’s not what is being said. The claim was that “not a single” woman supported her. That was demonstrable crap. I never said or would even claim it was universal. That would be much a ridiculous claim as it is to try and reduce the argument to an all or nothing support.

            Just to clarify. There were many women voicing support for her at every single stage. No it wasnt every women, but that wasn’t the original accusation and is a nonsensical burden to put on mass support.

          4. rotide

            Nigel that tweet is exactly why twitter is part of the problem when it comes to legal issues. It seems to mix ‘facts’ from the case with stats about porn and conspiracy theories on twitter.

            I guess me pointing this out makes me one of the ‘charmers;?

          5. Nigel

            Well, it’s not claiming to be a sworn affidavit, rotide, so yes it’s a mix of legal stuff and opinion. He wanted some sign of support from Irish women, I gave one example out of lots.

            I would NEVER accuse you of being a charmer, rotide! I’m hurt you would ever say such a thing.

          6. Alex Francis

            2 devices 2 usernames. They are variations of my name, is that so hard to follow?

            You said I don’t know any women. I said I’ve known women from princess to whore. The gamut would imply I know the ones in-between also.

            Link me to one female public figure that offered support during the trial and link me to one female public figure that is offering her support today.

            I am pointing the finger at women who fail to offer this girl their support. They should be ashamed of themselves.

            Your writing style is dreadful Listrade. You come across as a shrieking penguin.

          7. Nigel

            You running the gamut from princess to whore reminds me of Dorothy Parker.

            How public? Celebrity public, politician public, literary public, internet public – god dammit if we’re going to do this free work for you we need to know what the arbitrary goal-posts are!

          8. spudnick

            ‘Shrieking penguin’? One of the more measured and reflective posters on here I would have thought. Suspect you meant to write ‘Me no like you’, mr ‘princess or whore’ weirdo

          9. A person

            As the judge said when the trial began, only the jury will hear all the evidence. For anyone else to make judgement is wrong without hearing all the evidence.

          10. Alex Francis

            Princess “to” whore.
            Detail is critical.
            No, I don’t like the way Listrade writes or shrieks or is quick to insult. You must like that quality in their writing.

            Weirdo, I’d wear that as a badge of honour. Would you like to call me anything else?

    2. Frilly Keane

      Untrue Francie

      although I’m not ar$ed to get stuck into it all
      I’m just wiped out by it tbh

      But don’t you dream of coming on here to say shy!e like that
      not around me anyway

    3. GahBlahBlah

      I don’t know a single woman who wasn’t in support of her! I think you just know pooey people…

      1. rotide

        You must not know many women then. Some of the worst comments I heard about the trial were from women.

        1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

          Nope. I’ve spoken with plenty of women about this and nobody made any comment that I would find objectionable.

    1. Neilo

      @Daisy: Why don’t lads remove the middlewoman from the equation and just get on with it? Love’s never a crime, darlings, we fixed that shiz here years ago.

  9. Matt Lucozade: The Only Reader of the Village

    Quick, everyone over to the Journal Comments section. #notmylegalsystemetc

    1. rotide

      Wouldn’t be so quick to hurl stones, the very first comment on this thread is more or less #notmygrandslam

  10. Matt Lucozade: The Only Reader of the Village

    Well there’s Úna Mullally, Kathy Sheridan, Roisín Ingle etc all set for the next podcast.

  11. Nigel

    Dublin Rape Crisis: (1800) 778 888
    Limerick Rape Crisis Midwest: (061) 311 511
    Cork Sexual Violence Centre: (1800) 496 496/text 087 1533393
    Tipperary Rape Crisis Centre: (052) 612 7677
    Galway Rape Crisis Centre: (1800) 355 355

    1. The Ghost of Starina

      +1 Thanks Nigel.

      That said, a friend of mine called the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre a few weeks ago to ask about rape counselling and she was told there was a waiting list of 6+ months. Epidemic.

    1. Martco

      wouldn’t worry he’s not good enough imo & there’s plenty of lads ahead of him. game over.

      1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

        Yup. I wish he was a better player so there might be more head-scratching. He improved but he’s not that good. The scut.

    2. The Ghost of Starina

      Of course he will. They’ll give it a PR cooling-off period and then our little hero will be back on the field, getting glory for us all.

    3. rotide

      Doubt it, Joey is the long term successor to Sexton. He won’t be playing while there’s an internal review and by that time he won’t have played a competitive game for almost 2 years. He won’t be anywhere near Ireland for the forseeable.

      Doubly so for Olding.

    4. Bruce Wee

      No, I wouldn’t think so….I heard he has offers from English club (Exeter) and two French (Montpelier and Caste).. We (Ireland) have enough strength in that position not to upset our sponsors or have them get queasy or uneasy about a charged and acquitted rapist in the squad. The fact he has been found not guilty is irrelevant, the IRFU would be batting away questions for months is he was involved in a squad so why bother.

    5. Matt Lucozade: The Only Reader of the Village

      Paddy Power 1800 238 888
      BoyleSports 1800 22 00 66
      Ladrokes 0800 151 0289


  12. Shane

    Time for all to try and move on from this.
    It was blood in the water for the media and the public have jumped in too.
    Time for healing and for everyone not involved to drop it.

  13. Anomanomanom

    Anyone that uses the “look what she was wearing” excuse has something to hide, not to mention trying to say that the other girls are of a class that doesn’t allow rape. So working class allow rape? I can take they are found innocent, that’s how courts work. But I personally dont agree.

  14. Peter

    Fast verdict very similar to the OJ business. That was a case of ” we made up our minds months ago and f u for keeping us here for so long”.

      1. rotide

        Ched Evans and Mike Tyson would like a word with you about baseless generalisations Starina

        1. The Ghost of Starina

          I didn’t say all sports players are rapists. I said sports players are largely above the law. Evans still plays footy. Tyson’s had a great career after his conviction, for which he served minimum time. Ain’t no baseless about it.

          1. rotide

            Evans still does the job he did before being found guilty and serving time in jail.

            Sports players are not above the law. The sports people you are talking about have lots of money. People with lots of money are able to pay for very good lawyers who get them off/minimum time.

            It’s not the sports aspect, it’s the money aspect.

          2. Nigel

            I’d slightly disagree with both of you. It is money for sure, but there are fame and public prominence and celebrity aspects that go with it. Sport is a subset of entertainment, and you only have to look at the likes of Roman Polanski and Woody Allen to see how bad behaviour is no barrier to a flourishing career and fame and respect in other corners of the entertainment industry. Having said that, I have no doubt there are less fame-centered industries where men with, or who are good at making, money have done these things and routinely gone on to have success, just out of the spotlight.

          3. Fabilo

            Chad Evan’s career was destroyed following that conviction. He may still play football but it’s nowhere near what he could have achieved had he been found NG first time round.

        2. Listrade

          Why didn’t you use Adam Johnson, Marlon King, Graham Rix or Craig Thomson as examples?

      2. painkiller

        Who gives a damn what they do for their living. Talk about resentment.

        It’s the facts of the case and the weight of the evidence against them in light of the verdict reached that you should be focusing on. There wasn’t enough to convince a jury and that is all.

        By acquitting them, nobody got justice or closure but those guys have been ruined – if that’s the kind of justice you like to see.

    1. :-Joe

      lolz… about the only funny joke you can make on this situation.



  15. some old queen

    What I don’t understand is why a girl would go through such an ordeal in the witness box? What possible motive for lying?

    1. mildred st. meadowlark

      I asked myself the same question.

      It’s no treat to be in that position undergoing cross examination. Who in their right mind would choose that?

        1. Yep

          I’m not saying it happened Nigel but you’re being naive to think it’s beyond the realm of possibilty.

          She could have felt so ashamed and embarrassed she confided in someone it was rape. They then took the ball and ran with it for her.

          Before she knew it the whole thing was going forward and she felt she couldn’t stop it.

          Not saying it’s more likely than any other reason but it could very well be. We don’t know now do we?

          1. Brother Barnabas

            “you’re being naive to think it’s beyond the realm of possibilty.”

            nothing’s beyond realm of possibility, yep, but anyone with any involvement or experience in rape crisis will tell you that it very rarely happens. it’s one of the biggest misconceptions around – and largely peddled by the defence team. it’s a good one to plant in a juror’s mind.

          2. Yep

            So you agree with me then, BB?

            A few people wondered why she would subject herself to it if she hadn’t been raped. I proposed one such example. That is all. Nowhere did I suggest it was the case or that it was common.

          3. Brother Barnabas

            No, Yep, I’m not at all agreeing with you.

            With your “I’m not saying it happened… but it could very well be”, it’s pretty obvious what you think

          4. Yep

            Actuallly BB, I don’t think that happened at all. I sided with her from the beginning.

            I brought up that it was possibly a reason as I got the same answer when I pondered the same question a while ago.

            You have no idea of what I actually think and it fairly bad form of you to assume when all you need to do is ask.

          5. Brother Barnabas

            Still, no.

            “A few people wondered why she would subject herself to it if she hadn’t been raped”

            Good thing to wonder. And the answer is that she wouldn’t have. She was raped. The jury didn’t decided she wasn’t raped. It decided there wasn’t enough evidence to convict beyond reasonable doubt.

          6. Yep

            Still, no what?

            Oh sorry, I had no idea you were there. How come you weren’t called to testify?

            Maybe you could have been the counter to the testimony of Dara Florence.

            You’re the one turning this into a snippy back and forth. Nowhere have I claimed to know what happened but in the name of conversation posited something that I agree is rare but was possible.

            “The jury didn’t decided she wasn’t raped. It decided there wasn’t enough evidence to convict beyond reasonable doubt.”

            You say this like I have disagreed with it. See where I said I sided with her from the beginning? How about you ASK if I still do instead of getting moist at the thought of calling me out as some kind of rape apologist while you talk through your arse.

          7. Brother Barnabas

            yeah… ok.

            it’s just that, when SOQ pondered: “What I don’t understand is why a girl would go through such an ordeal in the witness box? What possible motive for lying?”

            you replied: “Shame and regret for what she had done “willingly” in a drunken haze.”

            i took that as your opinion. now you’ve clarified and i now understand that your comments actually represent what some other unknown people might think – not what you think.

          8. Yep


            “I proposed one such example. That is all. Nowhere did I suggest it was the case or that it was common.”

            To which you replied.

            “It’s pretty obvious what you think”

            These are clearly out of context but even in the context of the thread, it was clear I was not putting it forward as my opinion of what happened.

            Now you want to be so right you paint it as a simple misunderstanding. Get fupped..

          9. Brother Barnabas

            i’m not presenting it as a simple misunderstanding

            i’m suggesting you’re pretty pathetically backtracking

            [“i took that as your opinion. now you’ve clarified and i now understand that your comments actually represent what some other unknown people might think – not what you think.” was mocking your silliness]

            i have to go now

          10. Yep

            So you couldn’t even have an honest conversation about it. I actually read it like you meant it but gave you some credit. I guess was wrong.

            If I making such an offside statement what would have made me backtrack?

            Take your time. I’ll check your reply the weekend. If anyone else would like to point out where I clearly stated this as my opinion please do.

          11. Brother Barnabas

            ok, i’ll try again:

            1. SOQ asks (rhetorically) why on earth would someone allege rape if it wasn’t true – pointing out the ordeal etc involved.

            2. your answer to that was: “Shame and regret for what she had done “willingly” in a drunken haze.”

            when challenged on that, you then say that isn’t actually what you think – rather it’s what some other people might think. and then you go all potty-mouthed and offended.

            so, YEP, my sincere, grave apologies for taking your comments as being representative of your actual views. i thought that’s how it worked… how was i to know that your comments express what someone else might think or say – even though you yourself completely disagree with them?

          12. Yep

            “how was i to know that your comments express what someone else might think or say”

            3. “I’m not saying it happened”

            First line of my next response to Nigel. You then decided to become involved. Not long after you replied with “it’s pretty obvious what you think”. So even after I said it wasn’t what I thought, you decided it was.

            That’s when I got pissy.

            “so, YEP, my sincere, grave apologies for taking your comments as being representative of your actual views. i thought that’s how it worked..”

            And now you’re still being passive-aggressive because you lack basic reading comprehension or just refuse to consider you got it wrong….

            Have a read of the thread again there BB. If you still see it the way you do then fine.

      1. IonaLotOfProblems

        Yeah… I can remember all those hangovers where I would feel shame and regret for what I did the night before… then *lightbulb* I want to relive this experience in the most public of forums.

        1. Yep

          Your sarcasm aside, any personal feelings of what you would do in a situation you have no experience of is irrelevant.

          I’m aware of how rare it is. That also has no bearing on what actually happened because NONE OF US KNOW.

          By all means continue to speculate while pretending to be objective.

          1. mildred st. meadowlark

            As someone who has experienced cross examination (not directly, mind you), it’s not something you subject yourself to for no reason.

            It is gruelling and designed to make you doubt yourself, but to make the jury doubt you too. Extremely unpleasant. I feel sorry for the girl (regardless of any verdict) for being subjected to it, not once but four times over the course of the trial.

          2. Yep

            Absolutely horrific. I feel terrible for her. Especially when you consider that long after people have forgotten about it, that night and what followed will probably stay with her and have a negative effect on her whole life.

        2. MayJay

          I apologise for inserting into this thread, but I couldn’t see where else was better. I heard the argument, the idea that someone would put themselves through this ordeal for any other reason than a firmly held belief that she had been assaulted.

          Imagine it’s you. Just for a second. What’s worse – consensual ‘regret’ leading to reputational damage or the Sisyphean task of proving an allegation against a group of people you know are well-resourced. Where it is a he-said she-said. She even acknowledged that going up against them was pointless before being convinced by a friend that it was the right thing to do.

          The suggestion that because she didn’t scream, it obviously can’t be rape. Notwithstanding the fact that when (some) people find themselves in this situation they shut down. Or they recognise the perilousness of their situation. (If I scream, could they hurt me?)

          The questioning, the tone. Being identified by social media. She had to know. She did it anyway.

          So ask yourself why. What did she gain?

      2. :-Joe

        You do know comments on the internet are practically eternal… no?

        You’re literally accepting freedom of speech online so much to the point that freedom of thought is no longer even considered.


    2. rotide

      Not for a second suggesting that this is why, but once you bring the chages, if you flat out admit you lied then you can be prosecuted. See the article above.

    3. Clampers Outside!

      That’s a very difficult and highly complex question – This US study has some views on it:

      There’s a graph about half way down the page, where ’emotional gain’ of varying types total 60% of reasons given.
      20% where the claimant said “they don’t know why” they claimed; 2% ‘material gain’; and 18% ‘unknown’.

      Abstract of the study:
      “The list of motives by Kanin (1994) is the most cited list of motives to file a false allegation of rape. Kanin posited that complainants file a false allegation out of revenge, to produce an alibi or to get sympathy. A new list of motives is proposed in which gain is the predominant factor. In the proposed list, complainants file a false allegation out of material gain, emotional gain, or a disturbed mental state. The list can be subdivided into eight different categories: material gain, alibi, revenge, sympathy, attention, a disturbed mental state, relabeling, or regret. To test the validity of the list, a sample of 57 proven false allegations were studied at and provided by the National Unit of the Dutch National Police (NU). The complete files were studied to ensure correct classification by the NU and to identify the motives of the complainants. The results support the overall validity of the list. Complainants were primarily motivated by emotional gain. Most false allegations were used to cover up other behavior such as adultery or skipping school. Some complainants, however, reported more than one motive. A large proportion, 20% of complainants, said that they did not know why they filed a false allegation. The results confirm the complexity of motivations for filing false allegations and the difficulties associated with archival studies. In conclusion, the list of Kanin is, based on the current results, valid but insufficient to explain all the different motives of complainants to file a false allegation.”

  16. Jimmey_russell

    i’m physically sick right now, justice is broken. a woman was RAPED, reform is necessary so this doesnt happen again.

          1. rotide

            I’m now picturing a priceless violin with a cherry red sunburst pattern going through 15 marshall cabs.

            Behold the Stradicaster!

      1. Jimmey_russell

        a woman was raped. SHE. WAS. RAPED. how can these scumbags walk out scott free? there are serious problems with the judicial system when things like this can happen, it needs to change NOW.

        1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

          Reasonable doubt is a high standard. It needs to be there as it’s a very serious crime.
          I understand the need for that standard but as the mother of a daughter it makes me shrivel up inside — if that girl were my daughter I’d want to string those boys up.

        2. Owen C

          what are the problems you have identified in the judicial system? Note: a verdict you are not in agreement with does not in and of itself count as a problem that needs to be fixed.

  17. :-Joe

    The circus is finally over….

    Noleen Blackwell CEO of the rape crisis centre just laid down the facts on Sean Moncrieff (Newstalk 14:10 280318)

    1. The justice system in the north does not protect the ananonymity of the accused as it does in the south.

    2. The complainant in a sexual abuse / rape trial faces dealing with the crown prosecution on their behalf and the legal team of each defendant without the support of their own legal team. So five, YES FIVE! legal teams to deal with in this case and as a complainant at least two in the case of the legal system in the north if you are trying to get a prosecution.

    3. The system is deeply flawed because it focuses on the standard adversarial nature of a dispute in which one party say you did this and that and the other party says no i didn’t etc. etc. pitting them against each other in a he said/she said situation rather than carrying out an inquiry, investigation and inquisition into all the facts to gain the full picture of what happened.

    Well worth listening back and hearing from the source of (UN) common sense.


    To all you clowns on the interwebs, especially the mysoginist, anti-feminist-for-no-logical-or-sane-reason knuckle dragging ignorant… urgh etc. etc. like half the comments on and everywhere else in the past couple of hours…

    The case was about consent and whether she gave consent and whether they understood clearly that she did or not. It was not about sex, threesomes etc. etc.

    Fair play to her for taking it to trial, she knew this was the highest probable outcome from the start but at least others will be notified and wary of ending up in this situation themselves. So from her point of view it was the best thing to do despite the overwhelming odds against obtaining a conviction.

    To be fair to the accused they are mostly guilty of being ignorant, mysoginistic and mildly mentally retarded who have, much like their physical forms… an over-inflated self-confidence and ego about how they can do what they please.

    Is this behaviour a surprise? After being praised as heroes or ponetial future heroes of all Ireland for banging into each other repeatedly chasing a ball around a field to score points and straight afterwards downing as many pints of booze as possible for year after year.

    Women need to get a grip if you think the fall of Weinstein or anything coming from LaLaLand has changed anything, seriously!.

    Shoulder to shoulder, together standing tall…..



    1. Pip

      Think I read that there was a ripple of laughter, even, in the court when it was stated that Blane was well known for talking poopy poop.

    2. :-Joe

      Hey WTF BS?

      Why did you delete my comment calling out McIlroy for being “mentally retarded” and then deleting the other reply by whatisyourpointexactly too?

      McIlroy claimed he was innocent of Olding’s testimony to police as if he was involved in a foursome which he was not even accused of?

      Here was my reply to Whatisyourpointexactly
      -(Who replied asking me to stop using the term)

      How so?…

      I’m not actually using it incorrectly but intentionally and if it’s an insult to McIlroy then I’m fine with that too.

      Perhaps you’re not aware of the “euphamism treadmill” to which it belongs to?

      I don’t know McIlroy personally so I don’t know how to classify his low level of intelligence with euphamisms that keep changing every few years anyway.

      BS, stop the panic and get your thoughts in check before you resort to censorship….


        1. :-Joe

          Ye I only read about it a year or so ago and Stephen Pinkerton coined the term apparently.. being the smart fellow he is.

          Here’s an interesting article on the whole concept and how you can protest the stupidity of it all by not changing the terminology you use just because it’s not fashionable or people are suddenly getting offended by terms that were once perfectly acceptable and probably not for the first time.

          You have the right to freedom of speech and speak out about something being offensive but in a sense, you also have the right to be offended or for someone to offend you but if you think about it, nothing really happens so get over it and stop changing words to suit your sensitive concerns, basically.


          1. Nigel

            That word is used to insult, denigrate and demean people with learning and mental development issues. The fact that it was once an acceptable term is beside the point. It isn’t acceptable now and probably never will be again. Now it’s an ugly and revolting insult. That’s not ‘fashion’ or people taking offence. It’s a slur.

          2. :-Joe


            Clearly you’re sensitive about this issue but I disagree with your argument and last points.

            Feel free to be offended.


          3. Nigel

            Of course i will feel free – it’s a grossly offensive word. Your intellectual linguistic rationalisations won’t change that. But not caring that the word is a slur makes you no different from everybody else who uses that word. The intellectually disabled are one group of people everyone feels free to demean with impunity.

          4. :-Joe

            @Nigel You’re loading up on things I have not said, intended or inferred.

            IMO, McIlroy is at least mildly mentally retarded.

            You can debate what’s acceptable, the official clinical terminology and the use of language all you want but I’ve already answered your complaint, given my opinion and replied to your argument before you even made it and posted it.

            I have no control over what you find offensive so I can only leave it at that, there is no where else to go with this thread unless you want to be offended by something else you think I mean and put another argument forward.

            This might help you relax


          5. Nigel

            What you have no control over is how offensive that word is. You cannot make it less offensive by pleading scientific usage, especially when making an unsympathetic long-distance unprofessional layman’s diagnosis of a complete stranger in a criminal trial. You can only ignore how offensive it is and act as though using it is a requirement imposed on you by the situation, as if THAT were beyond your control. It is not. You used it, you own what it represents. Anything else is weaseling.

          6. :-Joe

            If you had read the link I already posted above before you posted and I started to entertain your daft ideas then this debate either would not have started, at least would have already been over by now or something else entirely.

            As I have said already I can’t explain my position any better so why would I just translate the same information to you over and over just to satisfy your needs.

            I have no control over what you find offensive and calling McIlroy a “Moron”, “Imbicile” or “Stupid” or an “idiot” is no different to calling him “mildly mentally retarded”.

            You don’t like it?.. Well then be offended.


          7. Nigel

            That word will never communicate as anything other than a slur, completely undermining any supposedly utilitarian justification you may claim for it. Ignoring how the word operates as a slur is a conscious choice. Placing the burden on others not to treat a slur as a slur only emphasises an utter disregard for the intellectually disabled.

          8. :-Joe

            @Sham Bob:
            How old were you behaving with that comment, 12.. 13.. 15?
            Your comment is daft and if you don’t know why I hope you figure it out soon.

            I’ve already answered you many times and again I disagree with your comment because you’re still wrong and obviously still offended.

            I wasn’t trying to intentionally offend anyone and certainly not you personally, so maybe give your self-centred stubborn whining a break and read the thread again fully because all the answers are already there and have been before you posted your first complaint.

            Your argument is complete nonsense and this latest comment is just ignorant because there is absoloutely nothing wrong with people being disabled.

            I wish you all the best in figuring it out for yourself, sincerely.


  18. 7ollie

    the way these so called “men” treated that girl is disgusting. typical rugger crowd, imho.

  19. Jake38

    I was not there so I can’t comment on the verdict, but God, why would any woman who was raped ever chose to submit herself to such a process as a criminal trial?

  20. bob

    Jury was 9 males and 3 women so your off to a bad start for the prosecution. Who gets to pick?

    The girl who walked in was 100% sure that full sex was occurring. This was denied by the guy and probably made no real impact to the jury even though it looked like he was a liar, as the question was one of consent not weather it was full sex or not.

    I think the jury were 75% sure it was without consent but they couldn’t bring themselves to prison them for ten years on 75% and so they walked. Probably one or two very articulate guys on the jury who could replay what the defense lawyers had said over and over again. you must be totally sure and there is no going back

    Take home message. One scrape on one face or help me would have gotten the boys 10 years but as the state witness showed, fighting back is not the norm, a lot of people freeze up.

    Seems like good boys don’t rape and silly little girls do things they regret was believed on the day.

    1. :-Joe

      Well said… It was fundamentally about consent and proving if the accused were aware of consent or not before anything else.

      I believe she knew she would lose but proceeded on the principle of the duty of speaking truth to power.

      In that sense a certain victory was achieved.


    2. rotide

      I’m not 100% sure how voir dire works in NI but I’m pretty sure both sides get to challenge every potential juror.

      Interestingly, apparently prosecutions tend to try to get a male majority as they convict more

      1. Bob

        My point was not females convict more but that males would be bigger rugby fans and believe more in the tradition of them being stand up guys

    3. Harry Molloy

      Just on the male v female on the jury thing, the prosecution looks for male jurors in rape cases as they’re more likely to convict (combativeness ,paternalistic emotions) and women jurors are more likely to acquit.

      That’s kind of counter intuitive but juries often are.

  21. Catherine costelloe

    I’m just remembering that brave woman in Dublin that was attacked at knifepoint by a vicious serial rapist who appeared in court this week. A very dangerous man is behind bars.

  22. michael walsh

    Four defendants, 6 criminal charges
    Each found not guilty on every charge.
    Why were they on trial for 8 weeks, if it was such an open and shut case.
    Personally, i remember the taxi drivers evidence.

    1. fergalfurious

      It’s because the pendulum has swung from “all women who cry rape are liars” 50 years ago to “all women who cry rape must be believed no matter how ludicrous their stories are” today.
      I believe the taxi driver said she was crying? If a woman crying would cause you to convict someone she accused of rape then please get a letter from your doctor excusing you from jury service due to mental incapacity.
      Fact of the matter is that women do lie: even about being raped. According to the FBI – who have the largest database on crime – 8% of rape claims are false. Compared to 2% of claims of other crimes. Note that these are claims which have been proven to be false.
      False accusations of rape destroy lives and undermine the credibility of genuine victims. False accusers deserve to be locked up instead of the suspended sentences they typically get in these islands.

      1. michael walsh

        Please read again thoroughly , the evidence in court by that taxi driver before engaging brain with your anally retentive FBI meanderings

        1. fergalfurious

          Right, I’ve gone and looked again.
          “Crying and sobbing”, “I knew it must have been in relation to that night”.
          Is that it?
          Can you think of anything short of rape that would cause a woman to cry? Could shame, embarrassment or intoxication cause crying? Are you aware that some people can cry, quite convincingly, at will?
          I can only dream to imagine myself being as anally retentive as the FBI’s statistics department but thank you for the compliment.

          1. michael walsh

            No, you did not read his evidence also concerning Rory Harrison
            your quote ”Are you aware that some people can cry, quite convincingly, at will?”
            Unfortunately, happens often especially while being raped.
            Your other quote
            ”I can only dream to imagine myself being as anally retentive as the FBI’s statistics department but thank you for the compliment”
            Appreciated, now go to bed, school tomorrow
            Michael Walsh

      2. Brother Barnabas

        wrong, fergal – and you very likely know it.

        the FBI figure of 8% includes instances where the victim was in or had been in a relationship with the rapist. and it bizarrely also includes instances where the victim didn’t physically resist the rape.

        it’s a pointless, meaningless and misleading figure

        1. fergalfurious

          “As with all other Crime Index offenses, complaints of
          forcible rape made to law enforcement agencies are sometimes
          found to be false or baseless. In such cases, law enforcement
          agencies “unfound” the offenses and exclude them from crime
          counts. The “unfounded” rate, or percentage of complaints
          determined through investigation to be false, is higher for forcible
          rape than for any other Index crime. Eight percent of
          forcible rape complaints in 1996 were “unfounded,” while the
          average for all Index crimes was 2 percent.”
          Page 24 of this .pdf:

          Where is your god now?

          1. fergalfurious

            This is risible stuff Brother; some random writes a two-page essay which trumps the FBI statistics? The FBI stops publishing the statistics so they must never have been true?
            Whig Historiographers like you don’t realise you’ve been pushing a pendulum and that the “listen and believe” attitude is going to come back and slam genuine rape victims in the face.
            You’ll live to see actual rapists get off scot free due to you and your fellow travellers’ doctrinaire campaigning.
            You think you can pave over human nature with political correctness. It can only fail.

          2. Brother Barnabas

            jesus wept, fergal

            again… the 1996 statistic of 8% being unfounded was based on a definition of rape that was adopted in 1929. for one, this definition didn’t count male victims or women who were or had been in a relationship with the rapist. it also didn’t count women who didn’t put up physical resistance. so it was obviously (I’d hope we can agree) an incorrect definition.

            as soon as the FBI updated the definition used, that stat disappeared

          3. rotide

            BB, That was an interesting read, but does it not assert that according to the very limited studies done, incidences of false accusations are HIGHER than the FBI number?

          4. Brother Barnabas

            not really. it (perhaps not the excerpt I linked) draws a distinction between unfounded allegations and intentionally false allegations. so there could be a case where someone alleges rape, but it turns out what happened wasn’t actually rape (in the legal defn) – say someone felt under duress to engage sexually. that often gets classified as an “unfounded” allegation. odd cases where both sides in the case actually agree on the facts of what happened. that’s why the stats can sometimes be very high- it depends on what’s being measured.
            when it comes to intentionally false allegations (which is, I think, what we’re all talking about here) where someone lies out of malice, shame, vindictiveness, regret or whatever, the incidences are actually tiny.

            the 8% thing above is complete nonsense

          5. fergalfurious

            You’re a waffler grasping at straws Brother.
            Napoleon said that you should never interrupt your enemy while they’re making a mistake but I care about victims of rape and the garbage you’re disseminating is only going to hurt them.
            You’ll see what I’m talking about if you and yours don’t realign yourselves with reality.

    2. some old queen

      Yes that was an indication that something upsetting happened but not necessarily rape.

  23. :-Joe

    Just heard Frank Greaney on Off The Ball admitting that he was surprised by how much of a rugby town Belfaast was with all the posters and buzz around the Ulster and Irish team.

    He said that 75% of the gallery in the court was populated by support for “the lads” for the closing statements to the jurors and were commenting on how good their speeches were.

    Many of them were not even there to support anyone in particular but just to cheer on the team.

    Great juducual system in norn iron… five legal teams vs the complainant right in the middle of a grand slam tournament and the captain is from Belfast.

    Total farce… but I don’t think anyone with any sense, not least the complainant would have expected anything else.

    Ireland, Ireland… Together standing tall… shoulder to shoulder… we’ll answer….


    1. rotide

      Would you rather the woman went through 4 seperate trials?

      Or should they have had no defence altogether?

      1. :-Joe

        More polemic rhetoric and binary logic from Broadsheet’s very own grand master of intellectual deduction…

        & I thought you had radically changed your approach earlier… shame…

        Alright.. ask me a serious question and I’ll try to answer it for you.
        (Here we go…)


  24. some old queen

    A 19 year old arrived back to a party alone then got into a situation where she lost control. A group of knuckle heads played a team sport. She was obviously naive and probably a virgin but unintended consequences means that rape support groups will now find support in places within NI they never had before.

    As for the boys, clearly a bit thick. The only females who will touch them have the intention of swinging their balls as earrings when married.

    Justice comes in many forms.

      1. some old queen

        Yes. At least in a room of three+ men. I was at least 25 before I could handle that sort of pool playing loyalist club east Belfast situation?

    1. :-Joe

      He also claimed he was innocent of someone else’s story to the police that he wasn’t even being accused of.


  25. Harry Molloy

    The #rugbyrapetrial illustrates that the common law criminal trial process is robust & of a high & exacting standard, as it must be. I do fear that coverage will, however, deter some complainants in the future & exacerbate already atrocious reporting and attrition levels.

    – I like Derbhail McDonalds tweet on the matter

    1. :-Joe

      “The #rugbyrapetrial illustrates that the common law criminal trial process is robust & of a high & exacting standard” – Tell me you are joking, no? Are you trying to incite a debate?… No?

      Listen to the full comments made today on newstalk and this evening on off the ball from Noreen Blackwell from the rape crisis centre and a lawyer(sorry forgot his name) who offered up some very good points also.

      The whole process is nearly laughable…

      80-90% of cases that go to trial fail to get a conviction.

      EDIT: Nothing to do with Jurors I have to add.

  26. rotide

    I wonder if Joan Burton is wondering where her hashtag is and why being found not guilty didn’t mean the jobstown lads were innocent?


    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      Was Joan gangraped by them? Was the Belfast jury shown video and audio of what actually happened, rather than a concocted lie to stitch up protesters?

      1. david

        I doubt it
        I would say she was on for a notch on her bed post when drunk then realised what a fool she made of herself
        When will women accept accountability
        These rugby players now have ruined careers and will remember they day they were just plain stupid drunk and remember for every act there is consequences
        But rapists they were not

  27. Lilly

    Anyone know what the barrister was getting at when he made the ‘middle class girls downstairs’ remark. Was he saying that the complainant was from the wrong side of the tracks? Such an odd comment.

    1. Bob

      It was mentioned in the case that the girl worked in drink promotions (prob part time). The one thing the jury had over us trial followers was that they could see the complainent. As humans we read people in a few seconds. We only have the newspapers to read so can’t let this potential bias against somebody’s appearance or social standing let it influence us. Maybe it did influence the jury? I’m not sure if this is all connected to the middle class girl statement.

      The judge was very clear. Base your answers on the evidence but also your common sense based upon your life experiences. Not sure that’s what happened.

      1. Lilly

        It sounded as though he was trying to denigrate her based on his perception of her background but he’d hardly be that stupid, would he? I don’t know how else to read it. Barristers rarely ad lib, his comment was deliberate.

  28. painkiller

    Insufficient evidence, spurious accounts, a lack of any evidence of physical restraint and a strongly conflicting account from a third party gave the jury sufficient grounds to doubt the substance of the evidence and validity of accounts, given alcohol was involved. Nobody gets justice but it’s possibly the fairest outcome.

    What do people expect these days; that a jury be expected to side with the story of accuser until the accused prove innocence beyond doubt? ..then let the identity politics of the day take over and lead us down the the road to hell.

    Broadsheet was pretty classy in avoiding direct discussion around this case, unlike so many other outlets.

  29. some old queen

    @ rape victim. Once you get over this and fancy a night out in gay Dublin then give us a shout eh?

  30. painkiller

    It is all too easy to jump on the emotionally-charged bandwagon and attack their privilege. Normally, that would be grounds for discrimination but apparently not in this case.

    Could it be determined that they committed what they were accused of? That’s all that should matter, if we actually care for a functioning justice system that represents everyone fairly. Some of the posters here seem to know more than the jurors.

    Unless I’m mistaken, I sense some liberal-leaning people on here desire a witch trial where details are secondary to perception and the wider narrative (that the woman is always the weaker party and men will always take advantage…as many sadly seem to believe in their hearts).

    1. :-Joe

      Quick, Burn this one as well folks….

      Fly my pretties… Flyyyy !!!..



  31. some old queen

    You lost me at the word ‘liberal’ love.

    Once more for jesus. The girl expressed concerns at making a complaint against members of the Irish Ulster team.

    IMO she was right.

  32. Niamh

    ‘Not guilty’ verdict in case of a jury doesn’t mean that jury thought the men were not guilty, actually – it means they felt there was not enough evidence to convict, and couldn’t be sure. This is hammered home to juries – if only circumstantial evidence, big risk of a wrong conviction. That’s why it’s so shocking, for instance, that Joe Reilly was convicted (he did it, but the evidence it hinged on – the phone signal – was surprisingly circumstantial / tenuous). In this case, not surprisingly, it probably means not enough evidence to convict – rarely is in rape trials.

    Add to that the four lawyers, the grilling, the jury gender imbalance, and hundreds of years’ worth of ingrained misogyny.

  33. Bort

    Not so long ago another pair of high profile rugby players allegedly could have found themselves in a similar situation and there were some allegedly pretty scummy whatsapp messages allegedly doing the rounds. Would there have any evidence to convict them, if it had gone to court would everyone be accusing them of being rapists?
    Also add Luke Rossiter to list of idiots sports people who should not have access to twitter!

  34. Junkface

    This case kind of passed me by, living abroad and too busy in work. Seems like it was not a fair trial on the young woman. How come there were only 3 women and 9 men on the jury?? Surely it should have been equal?

  35. qwerty123

    Hey you, yes you!! The person reading down through all these comments, tough work eh? Hope you have a nice rest of your day and enjoy the long weekend.

  36. Otis Blue

    I think it was appropriate to remove those posts. In the circumstances it was surprising that the poster chose to comment in they say they did.

    1. rotide

      Ooops, nevermind, saw the edit above.

      It’s a shame, she didn’t actually reveal any details about conversations in the jury room but her posts were enlightening as to how the jury saw the case as opposed to everyone else reading it.

      1. Topsy

        I saw the piece on the times. Strange that a juror would use a online forum to discuss & answer questions a few hours after a verdict. Just shows the mentality of the juror in question. Girl had no chance from the start.

        1. Milton Freidman

          That juror was a female, was she not?

          From what I see, from the people I have talked to both men and women, vast majority would have acquitted. The jury are the most qualified to come to a decision, as they sat through every detail for over 9 weeks.

          It was a quick an unanimous decision. Justice was done. End of story.

          The hysterical over reaction by a bunch of jumped of feminists, doesn’t change reality or the facts.

          1. michael walsh

            You say , I have talked to both men and women about the justified acquittal – your Dad and Mum?
            You were evidently part of the ”Laughter, jeers and scoffs from public gallery” during that young girls evidence.
            your comment ”The hysterical over reaction by a bunch of jumped of feminists”
            How very Presidential.
            do you have relations in Laois?
            The funniest part was the Rory Best comment
            “I was called as a character witness, and I was advised that it is important that I got both sides of the story so I could make an informed decision about that.
            Ha bloody Ha.

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