Willie John McBride

This morning.

On RTÉ Radio One’s Today with Sean O’Rourke.

Twitter reaction as Former Lions player Willie John McBride discusses the Ulster Rugby rape trial.

Seemed to go well.

108 thoughts on “Silly John McBride

  1. ivan

    He’s bang out of order, but who expected different from a 77 year old man? I’m not saying all senior folk aren’t down with today’s social mores, but not all are.

    It’s the same reason my mam will vote ‘no’ in the referendum; that attitude is ingrained. It’ll die out, as will McBrides but wheeling him out in this manner did nobody any favours.

    1. Pudge

      No. Plenty of old people are more radical than plenty of young people. A desire for equality and decency isn’s something that wears out as you use it.

      1. ivan

        They are. And plenty aren’t. Maybe radical old people are outliers. Maybe Willie John is. I don’t know. Older folk certainly can be radical, and fair play to them. I still suspect that not enough are, is all.

        1. Pudge

          And I suspect that many of the ‘libertarian’ young are a crowd of self-entitled little fascists… we both have our opinions.

        2. Pudge

          The generation born in the 1940s made a social revolution – they were the ones that ended the Magdalene Laundries, the prohibition of divorce and contraception and homosexuality. The generation born in the 1960s (their song was “That’s me in the spotlight”, compared to the 40sers’ “Call out the instigators”) were proud to “break the unions” thinking removing the only real protection and pride of working people made them into little proto-bosses.

          1. painkiller

            Ah, you must mean the generation that voted within the FF/FG/Labour paradigm for generations, sold us out to the EU in 1994 all the while embracing a faux nationalism that was indexed to the quarterly ESRI Housing Market Index? I think that generation kinda went quiet circa Sept 15th 2008. They really set us up – the world is certainly our oyster.

          2. david

            Totally true
            You missed out the social change in the states the freedoms achieved for our generation and the generations that followed
            If it was not for that generation and their parents that fought and destroyed the last Reich there would be no health system to destroy no dole and no social services
            But see the kids now so eager to walk into another war that want to destroy the fabric of a just society
            What will their song be?
            I know ,lets get Louis Walsh and the x factor to decide it with a big show of fireworks and dance moves ,to disguise the vaccuese content

    2. david

      Time women took responsibility for their sex lives and morality just like men
      Its time people of low moral standards are not classed as whiter than white
      All went into that sex party to get their jollies and they must accept that
      That dose not excuse rape
      To me rapists should be physically castrated

      1. Nigel

        She took responsibility when she brought rape charges despite knowing the difficulty and the ordeal ahead. Maybe you should start taking responsibility for your own prurience.

        1. david

          The Sunday world used to do articles about those sexual jollies
          If you are into it fine
          But do not cry rape after
          As for the men well just as bad
          But not rape
          Nigel if this floats your boat fine

          1. Nigel

            Yes, you should only cry rape if you were raped, and women generally don’t, which is why I think she was probably telling the truth. Go back to twitching your curtains and accusing the neighbours of being wife-swappers who never invite you to their parties.

        1. david

          Yes physically castrated with a surgical removal of organs
          Chemical castration allows them to keep their wedding tackle

      2. tycho

        Ooh, David, you say it like it is, like the Donald Trump of Broadsheet. WE ARE ALL IMPRESSED BY YOUR BIG SHINY MORAL COMPASS.

      3. mildred st. meadowlark

        Right, well in that case I reckon allowing us women the freedom to have an abortion in our home country falls under that little statement.

        Or is it only selective responsibility you’re referring to?

        You can’t have it both ways pet.

      4. Pudge

        What on earth makes the poor wee love think that women don’t take responsibility for their sex lives? What an odd comment!
        And ‘just like men’? If men routinely took responsibility for their own sex lives, places like Tuam and Dublin’s host of Magdalen Laundries would have been… oh, cultural centres or cinemas or playgrounds, perhaps. Not jails for women who “got themselves pregnant” in multiple magical acts of parthenogenesis.

      5. TheRealJane

        So basically, you think that political lesbianism is the way to go? You know, you may be right. Perhaps socialising with and living with men is irresponsible and asking to be assaulted.

  2. Shane Duffy

    The lads didn’t rape her. What am I missing here? And by the way, 6 women were charged in the UK last year with false rape allegations. One here this year. Trust women I hear you you say?

    1. ReproBertie

      One woman given a 2 1/2 year suspended sentence in Ireland in 2018 over a false allegation in 2017. That’s one false allegation out of 655 reported rapes in Ireland in 2017.

      Trust women I say.

        1. ReproBertie

          Only because I can’t find numbers for rape convictions in 2017. If I find one rape conviction does that cancel out Shane’s false allegation?

          1. Cian

            No. But your post made it look like there are 655:1 which would make a false allegation extraordinary rare.

            If there were 655 rape allegations; and usually only 1/3 go to court; and, say, 1/2 are convictions (I don’t know the numbers) then we’re talking 110:1 – which granted is still rare – but it’s more likely.

            And for the avoidance of doubt – this isn’t a reflection on my views of the Belfast case. I’m not saying that she made a false allegation.

    2. ivan

      No, the jury found that the prosecution in the case hadn’t proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the lads *had* raped her.

      That is *not* the same as ‘The lads didn’t rape her’. They may, indeed, not have, but the only certainty is that the prosecution didn’t meet the evidential burden required of them.

      1. snowey

        given we (and the north) assume innocence until proven guilty . And they were found not guilty. They are still innocent. They didn’t rape her.

        Otherwise we have people being hung for any allegation no matter how wild.

        Of course, if you believe innocence must be proven …north korea is lovely i heard.

        1. ivan

          My point is they weren’t found ‘innocent’, and in a legal sense, guilt isn’t *always* just a binary thing (which is why in Scotland they have the ‘not-proven’ thing).

          So, for instance, in the same way that Judge Brian Curtain had the prosecution for possession of child porn withdrawn because of an iffy search warrant, his position was unteneble, despite him being, technically, innocent.

          I think it’s safe to say that the prosecution wouldn’t have been brought unless the offending images were found on his computer.

    3. SOQ

      Shane do you have some sort of short term memory issues?

      The ‘lads’ were not convicted of rape beyond reasonable doubt. They have the legal presumption of innocence but people are free to make their own mind up as to what actually happened. As for false accusations, 6 women out of how many rape claims?

      1. SOQ

        Yes ’emotionally driven’ is when someone tries to paint false rape claims as some sort of epidemic when all evidence suggests they are way lower than most other crimes.

        Consent is not a given and can be withdrawn at any point. If himself doesn’t stop when he is told, he is on rations for at least a month.

        1. Shane Duffy

          Epidemic is your word SOQ, so you hang on to that like a good lad or laddette. I’m merely pointing out the stats, that, on average, in the UK, every 2 months a woman is charged AND convicted with making a false rape accusation. How many don’t make it to court or are thrown out? Twice, thrice that? Even more? Who knows? Either way the facts are, and you may not like, it but can’t dismiss it, women DO make false rape allegations and on a consistent basis too. That cheapens and demeans the victims of real rape. It’s a worrying pattern and one we should at the very least take notice of.

          1. mildred st. meadowlark

            Women DO indeed make false accusations.

            But far more men sexually assault or rape women than they make false accusations. And the UK is rather a different country to us, in terms of population alone.

          2. Brother Barnabas

            not really, shane

            yes, there are false allegations (a tiny, tiny number, albeit), but the vast majority of false allegations do not actually name an alleged perpetrator. obviously, that doesn’t make it okay but it’s far less serious than actually naming someone. anyone who makes a false allegation tends to get a warning for wasting police time etc rather than a conviction. and they tend too to get a psychological assessment – it’s a fairly stark cry for attention

            also, false allegations tend to become apparent very early in the investigative process – often actually within minutes of the initial interview

            not only is the notion that false allegations are widespread and are ruining people’s lives simply untrue, it’s massively damaging because it leads to victims of sexual violence being treated with skepticism / suspicion, which isn’t the case with any other crime

          3. Cian

            According to https://rapecrisis.org.uk/statistics.php there are ~100,000 rapes per year; ~15,000 are reported to the police leading to ~700 convictions; in the England and Wales

            so every 2 months
            …o 1 woman is charged AND convicted with making a false rape accusation
            …o 116 men* are charged AND convicted with rape

            * I’m assuming that the vast majority of perps are men

  3. SOQ

    Looks like Ulster Rugby are getting worried about the protest on Friday. It will be terrible PR for them.

    1. SOQ

      It ain’t over til the woman of curves sings.

      I like that. Maybe I should ™ it? What ya think Frilly?

    2. david

      He’ll heath no fury than a woman scorned
      Very relevant in this case
      And each day down the family courts you hear such stories
      Quite a few friends I know decent guys in unmarried cases and married cases lost their kids in the 1980s as the break up of the relationship turned nasty
      Due to the law of the land they had no rights
      The same land that produced the horror stories of the Irish holocaust
      So how can fathers be reconciled with their children and explain to their kids of the lost years due to these laws

  4. bisted

    …Willie John didn’t have drink to blame when he captained the Lions on their tour to apartheid S Africa…as if the ‘guys’ weren’t in enough trouble without having him on their side…

      1. bisted

        …they indeed have much in common…no matter how much they try to insulate themselves, like McBride, their shameful past will haunt them and be their legacy…

        1. Charlie

          Fire and brimstone eh? Karma eh? Yea, right. Nobody will give a flying foop in 6 months time.

  5. Frilly Keane

    Ulster Rugby wheeling out an old has being to try and polish up Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding

    and RTE facilitated them

    have all the Marches, Petitions, Protests, Parliamentary Questions, and Hashtags ye like

    Nothing has changed

    Wheel out Brian O’Driscoll
    I ..cking dare ye

  6. Nigel

    Seriously bad interview. The laugh he gave at the amount of drink taken was like a nail in the head, but it was the ‘we’ve all sinned’ in response to the misogyny in the messages that was truly repulsive. Surely there could have been a better representative to make a case for their rehabilitation? Or was he literally the best they could do? Or was no-one who actually has a clue willing to do it?

    1. ivan

      I don’t think anybody with a brain in their head would go near a microphone *today* and argue for their rehabilitation. That’s not to say they may not be entitled to it, but they’re toxic. Now, we can argue whether this is fair or not – from a karma point of view, it might be – but the presumption of innocence should mean something. The first step, I’d think, is that cases such as this should be heard in camera, and participants should be anonymous. I’m loathe to go down the ‘in camera’ road but in this day and age, reporting restrictions won’t deter somebody with a ‘just-set-up-this-morning’ burner twitter account, for instance…or who wants to blog later.

      Anyway – i digress. If one cheers on Laura Ingraham getting burned by advertisers deserting her in droves, then we have to accept that similarly sponsors etc won’t want these named lads associated with their brand, innocent or not.

      1. Nigel

        Their innocence isn’t going to wash away the stink of their established behaviour. They acted like truly awful people, and the fact that it didn’t rise to guilt of rape in the eyes of the law isn’t going to make anyone like them any better, except people who think that sort of behaviour can be shrugged off. If they want rehabilitation for that they’ll have to earn it somehow.

        1. ivan

          Aye; i was responding to your sentence “Surely there could have been a better representative to make a case for their rehabilitation”.

          I don’t think *anybody* can. Certainly not today. If one were a cynic, one might say ‘give it a few years and people will forget’.

          of course, meanwhile…


          1. Brother Barnabas


            not in the slightest defending McBride but i doubt he was aware he was “making a case for their rehabilitation”

            looks to me like someone in RTE took advantage of aging, media-naive misogynist

          2. ivan

            the jaysussin’ bang o’ tribalism off the BelTel advert though…

            “real fans Standing Up For The Ulster Men”…

          3. Nigel

            BB, did he not say at the start that they should be allowed to play again? I thought that was the point of his interview?

            ‘looks to me like someone in RTE took advantage of aging, media-naive misogynist’

            If that’s true someone deserves a right kick up the backside.

    2. kellma

      Let’s leave the rape verdict out of it here. We can argue til the cows come home if we believe it or not.
      What we do now and is fact, is that these men all exhibited reprehensible behavior. That the sent text messages that showed them in a very bad light and at the very least showed them to be men in possession of poor character who regard women in the most disdainful manner.
      All this does is add further proof to the pot with regards to this being a deep routed deeply held behavior that is accepted in many male-dominated parts of our society (rugby being one). It comes as no surprise that this relic of the rugby world is part of the problem. Does it?

      1. Cian

        Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone!

        I’m sure there are conversations that I have been involved in (online, by text, whatspp, BS, whatever) that if they were published, or read out in court, that would paint me in a bad light. It may be my [and my friends’] dark sense of humour, bravado, contrary opinions, or just acting the idiot, (or being a jerk).

        And I think, if people are honest with themselves, that most of us (all?) are the same. There are comments that we make/conversations we’ve had, that wouldn’t make our mammys proud.

        ..or maybe it’s just me. #IveSaidThingsImNotProudOf

        1. The Ghost of Starina

          So you’ve had the lolz with your pals about a girl being hysterical and “it was never going to end well” after a sexual encounter, yeah?

          1. Cian

            Ghost of Starina: That is not what I said.

            But would you answer me this? Honestly – are you proud of *every* conversation you have had? and be happy that it were put on public record?

          2. The Ghost of Starina

            no of course not, but I’ve heard several people try to downplay the severity of their whatsapp messages by saying “ah sure we all have private bants” and that’s what I find objectionable.

          3. Cian

            Right. It’s okay for you to have “private bants”? and it’s okay for me to have “private bants” and it would be okay for them to have “private bants” – as long as it wasn’t too severe.

            But the very nature of banter is that it is private chat between friends that will cut each other a lot of slack – won’t get offended by each other. And the ‘severity’ of the conversation is really dependant on the group. In my experience if were to say something “risqué” with two groups of friends – one group wouldn’t bat an eyelid – while the other would be shocked…

            Similarly I would assume that if I saw some of your whatsapp message or some 18-year-olds (of 78-year-olds) messages that I may be shocked at the content (or not). But the context of the group is important.

  7. filly buster

    all the mad poo coming out around this trial .. reading this today, and the other day it was una mullaly doin an article saying she cant watch rugby anymore because of it. although she didn’t say if she also can’t go to belfast again because they’re from belfast. and she didn’t say if she was going to stop watching movies because of Weinstein. The funny thing is, she would be the first to go at you for generalising people. then she just casts a whole veto over the entire sport of rugby.

    1. Nigel

      Only men complaining about sports they don’t like versus sports they like are allowed cast whole vetos over sports.

      1. filly buster

        no one is allowed cast a veto over a whole sport. to sweepingly say the sport of rugby is a sport of rape because of this is a horrible generalisation.

        1. Nigel

          People are ‘allowed’ to say all sorts of things, but even me with my general antipathy to most sport would find that a bit much, yes. It’s certainly a sport associated with rape at the moment, which is horrible for any and all decent players and coaches and supporters.

        2. TheRealJane

          Oh dear. I’ve vetoed all sports. Is this no longer permissible? Must I watch sports? All sports? I mean, I’ve several other calls on my time…

        3. The Ghost of Starina

          i’m allowed to say whatever the fupp i want about a whole sport, or about the entirety of sports. cheers, though

        4. qwerty123

          @filly – Say if we said it was because of this trial, the french players antics in Edinburgh this 6 nations, a Leinster U21 who got convicted of sexual assault but is still playing under an IRFU contract and the Malone rugby teams pictures, all in the last year, can we start generalizing then? Probably not, but Rugby has an issue. Anecdotally, friends of mine who play and went to rugby playing schools have a strange attitude when it comes to women.

          1. Cian

            “Anecdotally, friends of mine who play and went to rugby playing schools have a strange attitude when it comes to women.”

            Were they all-boys schools by any chance? It could be that segregating boys from girls isn’t a healthy thing to do.

          2. qwerty123

            Well most of them are boys only, so yes. That’s another possible issue and yes there may be something in that. One for the psychologists I’d say.

  8. Catherine costelloe

    I am genuinely baffled if a woman is being raped she has presence of mind to ask her rapist has he a condom? Really?

    1. filly buster

      rape isn’t always a villainous scene, of a man in a mask with a knife following a woman down a laneway. It’s very likely that she was bullied into the situation by her aggressors, and went along with it somewhat as she was afraid, being outnumbered by big burly rugby lads pushing her into a situation. Everyone is different, and people can react to various sitautions differently, and its not uncommon to react in this way, to sort of go along with it, and even ask about condoms. unless you experience every type of rape situation yourself you’re not going to know. you’re only imagining what you would be like in one situation.

    2. The Ghost of Starina

      it’s funny what your mind does in situations of high stress. Survival instinct kicks in. Would you question somebody who grabbed their passport before fleeing a burning house?

    3. SOQ

      The fact she asked for protection does not mean she wanted it to happen, just that she did not want to get pregnant. It does not mean she was a willing participant throughout the whole thing. Such a request means she was way more sober than painted by the defence of course.

      1. Daisy Chainsaw

        Or she didn’t want whatever infections their diseased peens are probably riddled with.

    4. TheRealJane

      I always love the missives from the I DON’T UNDERSTAND HUMANS crew.


    5. painkiller

      Or goes back to the scene to get her phone…

      It depends on your definition of rape I suppose. Fair to assume that in the real world (i.e. in a court), they reached consensus based on accounts from all involved.

      It doesn’t help that people on threads like this are not conditioned to agree on anything and talk as though they know the psyche of the attacker and the victim of such an assault.

      The shallow call for justice barely disguises a deeply held belief that not only are all men bad, all rugby players should be hunted down.

  9. Shane Duffy

    My reading of it is that, after the woman entered the room and thinking that she videoed it, to avoid a scandal for herself and her family, she tried to save face with her mates by mentioning it and brushing it off as a waste of time pursuing it in the hope that they’d believe her and leave it at that. BUT, her mates coerced her into going to the police so to save face she did. One lie led to another etc etc. How d’yas like dem apples? Schwate enough for yas?

    1. filly buster

      there were no camera phones mentioned in the trial. on everyones accounts, it was not mentioned. it would be different if she had seen phones out. but she didnt. and she didnt consider it. that argument was something conjoured up by the defense. the same defense who used tactics such as “ah you love famous lads tho” “sure look at the knickers she was wearing? she wanted sex”

      1. TheRealJane

        Also, tan.

        Correct me here, it’s been a while since I was one of the dreaded Young People, but my recollection is that young women don’t tend to wear m&s white briefs for a night out, even if they’re not planning to entrap promising young men into a hellhole of a false rape allegation.

  10. Johnny

    do the player contracts not contain a clause that affords the club a wide discretion to penalise any player found to have brought the sport or club into disrepute ?
    rendering the whole debate moot.

    1. SOQ

      The sponsors will decide. Like McBride, the advert calling for their reinstatement in the Belfast Telegraph today is an own goal(pun) because more public controversy is the last thing the sponsors want.

      1. Johnny

        its really a contract issue,given how much disrepute they have brought to that brit game,club and country, they should be terminated.

        “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.”


        1. SOQ

          ‘Disrepute’ is quite a subjective term but in the case of Rugby which would be considered a more well heeled and / or respectable sport, there is no doubt but that the image of the game has been tarnished. In fairness, it has somewhat become a lightning rod for a wider issue, especially how rape claimants are treated by the legal system.

          But what I don’t get is the social media blaming. Social media is just people and while some may get carried away from behind a keyboard, the protests were and are real. There are strong feelings about this issue and IMO, if they can, the best thing those guys could do is take six months off.

          1. Johnny

            there two types of disrepute in sports,one that brings an athlete into disrepute (doping) and when that conduct brings a sport into disrepute (see above).
            more likely they end up playing in France or the UK than sitting out,numerous sponsors pulled out/cancelled contracts in Aus over the handling off the ‘balls’ scandal,which no doubt Ulster and the IRFU are well aware off!

  11. Nigel

    Well how do you do
    Young Johnny McBride
    Do you mind if I sit here
    Down by your rape side?
    And attest for a while
    That it all be forgot
    Those poor wee young boys
    Did their time in the dock
    Well I see by their WhatsApp
    They’re top shaggers, the fools
    But sure aren’t we all sinners
    And no way they drank that much booze

    Did they disrespect the game of rugby?
    Did they play the game roughly?
    Whether out on the field or up in the room?
    Can we not let them play for their country?
    If they promise not to rape anyone any time soon?

  12. Shane Duffy

    Here’s another oul chorus to put into your pipe and smoke:

    “Did she spoof the judge weakly
    Did she lie of them meekly,
    Did she willing nod and lay down on the bed?
    And when a woman came in and observed her,
    Did she think up a lie on the spot in her head?”

    Tank you, tank you, tank you!

    1. mildred st. meadowlark

      You’re one foul little fuppwit that’s for sure.

      I’m sure you and your palm will be very happy together. I can’t imagine anyone actually wanting to sleep with, or indeed even be associated with someone as devolved as yourself.

  13. Scundered

    His statement may well be true, none of us were there, we’ll never know the truth. And I’d very much doubt if you raped someone you’d be bragging the next day knowing that would easily convict you. They went to good schools so I would assume they’re of reasonable intelligence at the very least, despite their disgusting private messages. Being silly could still be exactly what happened.

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