Northern Ireland news

Massive 'I believe her' protest to take place outside Ulster Rugby home ground in Belfast

People take part in a protest in Dublin, in support of the woman at the centre of a rape trial after two Ireland ruby players were acquitted of rape.

A RALLY in support of the woman at the centre of the trial is being planned outside Ulster Rugby’s grounds in Belfast to coincide with the side’s next home match.

The protest is due to place on the evening of Friday April 13, outside Kingspan stadium in the south of the city. 

Organisers say expect a “massive” turnout after thousands of people attended similar events across Ireland following the acquittal of the four men in Belfast Crown court last week.

The #IBelieveHer group behind the rally say the demonstration outside the home grounds is “the best way to send a clear message” to Irish Rugby and its sponsors about their concerns.

Ulster Rugby are carrying out a review following the jury’s unanimous acquittal of Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding, both of whom are under contract to remain at Ulster until 2019.

The process will involve the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), the sport’s governing body in Ireland.

The IRFU said it “noted the verdict”.

“We wish to acknowledge that this has undoubtedly been a difficult and extremely traumatic time for all involved,” it said.

A decision to cancel either player’s contract could lead to Mr Jackson and Mr Olding speaking to overseas clubs in England and France.

The #IBelieveHer hashtag and term were trending in Ireland, the UK and worldwide on Twitter last week as internet users reacted to the acquittal of all four defendants.

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