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#ibelieveher

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Diageo, the legendary company behind Guinness, has officially cancelled its sponsorship of London Irish Rugby Club over their choice to sign former Ulster and Ireland out-half Paddy Jackson.

We all remember the rugby star after the infamous and harrowing Belfast rape trial of last year, where he was acquitted. Three other men who had been charged in relation to the incident were also acquitted.

Stuart Olding and Jackson both had their contacts cancelled in the wake of the trial, after their Whatsapp messages showed vile, misogynistic language about women involved in allegedly consensual sex acts with them.

Seeing as London Irish markets themselves as a family club, we're not surprised fans were angry when a man who discusses 'spit roasts' and says phrases like, "Any sluts get f*cked?" was signed on to play for them.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Catherine Wharton  (@catherine.wharton) on

In a statement to The Irish Times, Diageo said: “We have met with the club to express our concerns. Their recent decision is not consistent with our values and so we have ended our sponsorship.”

Diageo had recently said that it had "serious concerns" regarding Jackson's signing, but failed to reference the sponsorship deal, which has been in place for 27 years.

Another London Irish sponsor, Cash Converters, terminated its relationship with the club. On Twitter, the company said; “As a company, we are committed to the highest possible standards when it comes to our investments in any sponsorships and collaborations.

"As a result of a detailed and thorough review of our support for London Irish, we have decided to discontinue our association with the club.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Last night, London Irish said its management is “understandably disappointed that Diageo has chosen not to renew its sponsorship agreement with the club, and particularly the manner in which the company has chosen to do so”.

“The club has always respected the right for everyone to have an opinion, and their right to express that opinion,” the statement said.

“London Irish has been open and honest with all of its sponsors, including offering to meet Diageo’s senior management in Dublin in May, 2019. This offer was not taken up.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The management also said the club would move on “without the support of Diageo, who have chosen to stand down after a nearly 30-year association with the club”.

“It is regretful that this relationship has ended in the manner that it has,” the statement said. Declan Kidney, head coach at London Irish and former Ireland coach, signed Paddy Jackson and defended the decision last year;

“We are fully aware that there was a court case that Paddy was involved in but that has  been  dealt  with. What  has gone on in the past had gone on in the past and we are just trying to move on to the future."

Feature image: Instagram/@glenmoremanor

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#IBelieveHer has been trending on Twitter this afternoon following news of Paddy Jackson’s signing to the London Irish rugby club.

The public has taken to the social media platform to express their disgust and shock at the news of the sportsman’s signing.

Understandably, people are feeling frustrated, hurt and simply distraught by the news, proving that accusations made against Jackson didn’t ‘ruin his life’ as many claimed following the non-guilty verdict.

One Twitter user wrote: “This is how rape culture manifests. This is how we protect rapists over survivors. This is why people don’t come forward. When asking how to protect women, start by looking in the f**king mirror.”

“Shocked and disappointed by this news. This is a player who should never work again after the way that poor woman was treated. Acquitted of rape, but what came out of that trial shows he is an appalling example of humanity,” said another.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by suchafuckinprincess (@suchafuckinprincess) on

I Believe Her trended following the harrowing Belfast rape trial in 2018, proving that the major consensus disagreed with the result.

It was Ireland’s #MeToo moment and a sign that times were changing. Women and men across the Emerald Isle rallied together to fight for victims who many failed to respect, help and believe.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Alliance for Choice (@all4choice) on

Jackson and Olding may not have been found guilty, but that won’t silence the #IBelieveHer movement. It won’t stop us from supporting victims, offering them the support they so crucially need and believing them when they share stories of their trauma.

We believe her.

 

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Nationwide rallies will take place tomorrow to protest victim blaming in the Irish courts following a controversial trial verdict in Cork.

Irish women have been sharing viral images of their underwear in response to the rape trial, in which a Cork barrister used a 17-year-old girl's underwear to argue that she had given the man accused of rape consent.

The 27-year-old man was found not guilty of raping the young woman in a Cork laneway; a result which has caused outrage all over the country.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The barrister representing the man, Elizabeth O’Connell SC, asked jurors to take into account the underwear which the teenager had been wearing at th time of the alleged rape.

She claimed the woman's "thong with a lace front" suggested that the woman "… was attracted to the defendant and was open to meeting someone and being with someone."

The Socialist Feminist organisation ROSA have responded by organised multiple rallies all over Ireland following the result.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by I Believe Her (@ibelieveherireland) on

Through their Facebook account, the group called the reference to the underwear a "disgrace" and are campaigning for an end to "victim blaming in the courts."

"These lines of character accusation and victim blaming are unfortunately a common tactic used in cases before the courts relating to sexual violence," ROSA stated.

"The judiciary has proven itself time and time again to be utterly damaging to survivors of sexual violence to seek justice."

The hashtag #thisisnotconsent has appeared all over every social media site, alongside photos of women's underwear in all forms.

There is a huge amount of anger online regarding the trial, which is especially poignant following an emotional year for women. The Belfast rape trial in March also caused a backlash nationwide when all four rugby players involved in the incident were acquitted of rape.

The '#IBelieveHer' hashtag is also spreading throughout Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in solidarity with the Corkwoman.

Protests in Dublin and Cork will begin at 1pm tomorrow, the rally on O'Connell street will meet at the Spire. On Wednesday November 14, a Limerick rally will begin at the earlier time of 12.30pm, and the Waterford protest will take place at 3:30pm on Friday November 16.

Check out the Ruth Coppinger TD and ROSA – Socialist Feminist Movement Facebook event page for more information.

Feature image: girlcrew.com

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Paddy Jackson has signed a two-year contract with French rugby club, Perpignan. 

The move will see the  former Ulster and Ireland international fly-half play in the Top 14 next season. 

In a statement shared on the club's official website this morning, Christian Lanta, Sporting Director of the French side, said:

"Paddy JACKSON, traditionally the Irish number 10, knows how to put his individual qualities at the service of the collective; confirmed goal scorer, talented lineman, Paddy has to bring to the team his experience of the international level."

The number 10 had his contract revoked by the IRFU earlier this year after a high-profile rape trial which saw them acquitted of all charges. 

An internal review into the players misconduct found that although they were found not guilty, their actions did not adhere to the game's core values: "Respect, inclusivity and integrity." 

At the time, the IRFU also announced that they intend to ensure that these core values are applied across the board. 

"It has been agreed, as part of this commitment, to conduct an in-depth review of existing structures and educational programmes, within the game in Ireland, to ensure the importance of these core values is clearly understood, supported and practised at every level of the game."

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Sale Sharks have released a statement saying they have no intention of signing Paddy Jackson or Stuart Olding. 

Reports yesterday suggested that the players had been offered deals by the English Premiership side after their contracts were terminated by the IRFU following an internal review last month. 

"We can confirm there is no substance to the rumours currently circulating in relation to the signing of the two international rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding," the statement read. 

“Our search continues for top class players to bolster the squad for next season.”

According to Press Association Sport, Sales did explore the possibility of taking on the former Ulster team-mates, though the club's hierarchy decided against it. 

Both players were involved in a high-profile rape trial earlier this year, and although they were found not guilty, the IRFU concluded that their actions did not adhere to the game's core values: "Respect, inclusivity and integrity." 

At the time, the IRFU also announced that they intend to ensure that these core values are applied across the board. 

"It has been agreed, as part of this commitment, to conduct an in-depth review of existing structures and educational programmes, within the game in Ireland, to ensure the importance of these core values is clearly understood, supported and practised at every level of the game."

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Protests have been organised across the country today in the wake of the not-guilty verdict handed out by the jury to Paddy Jackson and his teammate Stuart Olding.

Blane McIlroy and Rory Harrison were also found not guilty of perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

Public opinion clearly shows an opposing view to the verdict, with the #IBelieveHer trending in Ireland since yesterday, and now thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets in opposition to the verdict.

Here's a glance at what's happening around the country right now: 

Dublin 

 

Smashing the patriarchy with mother and the twins #istandwithher #ibelieveher

A post shared by Roxanna Liam (@roxynl) on

 

Ireland, you have to do better for your women.. #ibelieveher #repealthe8th #fightback

A post shared by Wendi Griffin (@gr1ff1ngold) on

Cork

 

We believe her. #ibelieveher

A post shared by Audrey Ellard Walsh (@audreyellardwalsh) on

Belfast

Galway

Feature Image // Twitter 

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