Free Tomorrow?


At The Spire, O’Connell Street, Dublin 1 at 1pm.

A protest will take place following statements made during a trial in Cork in which a 27-year-old man accused of raping a 17-year-old girl was found not guilty.

Barrister Elizabeth O’Connell SC, for the accused, had asked the jury to consider what the woman was wearing, saying:

“Does the evidence out-rule the possibility that she was attracted to the defendant and was open to meeting someone and being with someone? You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front.”

ROSA (Reproductive rights, against Oppression, Sexism & Austerity) writes:

“Clothing has nothing to do with consent. It’s time the judiciary were trained not to use rape myths. Time is up for rape culture. Join the protest.”

Similar protests will also take place in Cork and Limerick.

More here

Previously: ‘The Way She Was Dressed’


31 thoughts on “Free Tomorrow?

    1. ollie

      Wrong. In other Countries a pretrial meeting decides what can and cannot be used as evidence. To blame a victim on the clothes she was wearing is unethical and downright disgraceful.

      “A witness saw you with your hand to her throat.” The defendant said that was not correct. He said the witness misread the situation. SO he did have his hands on her throat?

    2. Nigel

      You mean all those courtroom dramas where one lawyer jumps to their feet and yells I OBJECT and the judge bangs the gavel and yells SUSTAINED COUNSELLOR I”LL HAVE NO MORE OF YOUR GRANDSTANDING have been lying to me?

      I don’t think they routinely use arguments about the alleged victim’s alleged promiscuity and whether they didn’t fight back hard enough as parts of the defence any more. At least I hope not.

      1. Starina

        allegedly in Australia they can’t refer to the accuser’s sexual history or what they were wearing, in order to prevent this kind of slut-shaming codswallop.

        1. millie st murderlark

          Which is actually really surprising to me because Oz isn’t always known as the most socially forward of places.

          But good job lads. Keep it up.

    3. postmanpat

      You’re not wrong. Lawyers are paid to get people off. Its not her fault. As smug looking as she is, (based on the mugshot of her on the legal site someone linked to here last week).
      Questioning a girls decision to wear certain underwear is a reasonably smart move in this country given the high proportion of backward sexist scumbag judges and the low average IQ of jury’s. The villain in this story (after the rapist) is the jury , after that the Judge , who , if the rapist was found guilty , would have taken into account the underwear argument and give a lenient sentence.

      1. Emily Dickinson

        ‘If the rapist was found guilty…’

        I’m basically a liberally-minded individual, but comments like that are why I have zero respect for people who organise parades over issues like this.

        1. postmanpat

          Okay , damn it, “If the **person-accused-of-being-a*** rapist was found guilty….” My god, the pedantic spelling/grammar Nazis around here. The left eats itself once more, while the right looks on and laughs. This parade is an opportunity platform for disingenuous TDs who are in the political game for the sweet easy cash and benefits , nothing more. No TD cares about a rape victims. This parade is a crock. Extra judicious punishment is the closest thing to justice you will get in this country when it comes to down to rapists. Rapists get off in this country. You have to take the law into your own hands. I like to think the police , as corrupt and cowardly as they are, would be decent enough to stifle an investigation into a accused rapist found on the side of the road beaten to an inch or his life and thrown out of a moving van. Sure he will heal up , and probably rape again, but what it the alternative? go through the legal system in the hopes he will be put away as a danger to society? yeah right! At least if someone is severely beaten, they might be left with a permanent limp and make things much harder to chase and pin down another girl. If (when) the rapist walks free from the legal system they could (and often do) rape someone that very night. If there’s no drugs involved, the Judges let people off for everything it seems , even murder. Rape: let go usually or imprisoned for 1 year out in 4 months, Murder: out in 6 years . Caught selling coke to banker yuppies: 10 years , out in 10 and hounded by parole system for years afterward.

  1. paul

    a serious word* in the ear is needed for the barrister for saying what they did and to the judge for not throwing the barrister out of court.

    *too angry to type what I really feel, the above politeness will have to serve.

    1. MaryLou's ArmaLite


      The barrister’s argument was odious, but throwing her out of court for making it would be wrong.

  2. Emily Dickinson

    I’m guessing this organisation against ‘sexism and austerity’ is actually some sort of student prank.

    On the substantive point, what people are wearing can certainly speak to their intentions and frame of mind, so of course it’s a reasonable subject to raise in a court of law.

    1. Nigel

      She could have been wearing a t-shirt that said I WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH YOU and it still wouldn’t have been consent.

    2. realPolithicks

      “On the substantive point, what people are wearing can certainly speak to their intentions and frame of mind”

      In your case perhaps.

    3. phil

      @Emily Dickinson I apologise if your name is Emily Dickinson, however if you handle is ‘Emily Dickinson’ because you admire the author , I wonder if you have any thoughts on the theory that Emily Dickinson the author was raped?

      1. Emily Dickinson

        I just like her work. I know nothing at all about whether or not she was raped, and obviously no one here is condoning sexual offences of any kind. But I do have a problem with the more mindless versions of identity politics. In this case, for example, after due process, the man was acquitted. He’s not an unconvicted rapist, he’s innocent. His rights matter too.

  3. B

    You’re right,
    Its perfectly acceptable to also make the argument that the women was basically a prostitute, its not relevant but sure you can always throw it into the court case for the laugh.

    Oh and if its a court case involving a man with a unibrow you can say that proves he’s crazy and can’t be trusted….because he has a unibrow and people must consider that.

  4. Daisy Chainsaw

    The lacy thongs aren’t even packaged in Penneys. They’re clipped together and sold 3 for €3.00. I had a look at some of them and not one of them made me want to rape anyone.

  5. Gabby

    I still think longjohns are eminently appropriate unisexual underwear for these chilly nights – though this has nothing to do with consent.

  6. Emily Dickinson

    I’ve spent the past two weeks avoiding countless boring newspaper articles (and maybe one or two threads on here) about what it means to wear, or not wear, a poppy. In other words, what people choose to wear can reflect their mental landscape. Obviously that doesn’t mean that a short skirt equals consent, but no one is arguing that, other than the self-righteous liberals themselves offering up flimsy straw men to knock down.

    As for this organisation, is it for real? The website says it’s named after Rosa Parks. Do they know who she was? There’s not a word on the website about racism, but they seem pretty big on pay rises for the public sector. My grasp of history is a little shaky, but I don’t think she stayed in her seat because of ‘austerity, sexism and the debts of the banker elite.’

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