Northern Ireland news

Fallout from the Ulster Rugby rape trial makes headlines in USA

Paddy Jackson, pictured during the marathon nine-week trial at Belfast Crown Court. Picture by Pacemaker

THE fallout from the Ulster Rugby rape trial has made headlines in America.

The New York Times devoted a significant amount of space in its Europe News section, under the headline `Acquittal in Irish Rugby Rape Case Deepens Debate on Sexual Consent'.

It noted "the nine-week rape trial of two rising stars of Irish professional rugby transfixed, and at times horrified, public opinion on both sides of Ireland’s border (and) their acquittal in March was supposed to calm emotions and allow divisions to heal.

"Instead, weeks after the players - Paddy Jackson (26), an Irish international and Ulster provincial player; and Stuart Olding (25), who also played for Ireland and Ulster - walked free from Laganside Courts in Belfast, the furor continues over what some describe as a toxic male culture in elite sport, and acrimonious debates still rage over differing views on sexual consent".

Detailing the key points of the trial, the publication said the case "raised disturbing questions about the attitude of some Irish men toward sex, consent and women in general".

It also made reference to "the hurdles still remaining", with Malone rugby club's investigation into "a photograph that had emerged of two players simulating sex acts with a trophy cup, the names of Mr Jackson and Mr. Olding stuck to their torsos".

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