IFRU And Ulster Rugby Cancel Contracts Of Jackson And Olding

Anne Mc Vicker and Helen Crickard prepare placards for tonight’s protest outside Kingspan Stadium

Anne Mc Vicker and Helen Crickard prepare placards for tonight’s protest outside Kingspan Stadium

A group gathered outside the Kingspan Stadium where Ulster was playing Ospreys in the Pro14.

Ulster and Ireland rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding have had their contracts terminated.

Although there was a large police presence on the avenue which runs parallel to the stadium, the atmosphere between Ulster supporters and the demonstrators was generally civil.

"We are asking Stormont policy decision-makers about funding, and we would invite any business sponsors interested in supporting our work to please get in touch", she said.

Both men expressed their disappointment at having to leave Ulster following their "sackings".

The picket was organised by the Belfast Feminist Network.

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Last week Women's Aid NI, Nexus NI and the Men's Advisory Project announced they are using some of their funding to establish a new rape-crisis service for Northern Ireland.

"They said they feared being sidelined by their clubs if they speak publicly over their concerns regarding sexism and misogynistic attitudes in rugby".

In addition, Jackson was found not guilty of sexual assault.

Ulster and Ireland rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding, who were last month acquitted of raping the same woman, have been sacked.

Last season's Champions Cup finalists finished second on the Top 14 table behind La Rochelle a year ago but will play no part in the Champions Cup next season after La Rochelle's win over Bordeaux last month. The two were highly critisised for the text messages that were sent via WhatsApp referring to the girl in question and to the party that was held at Jackson's home. The trial judge, Patricia Smyth, had ruled this evidence could not be heard by the 11-member jury.

Ulster Rugby and the IRFU launched an internal review into the pair's futures following the trial.

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Some English clubs are nervous about making an approach for the two players, fearful of upsetting sponsors, who would be fully aware of the negative publicity that surrounded Jackson and Olding during their...

"This is my Ulster team as well".

Jackson told the Press Association on Saturday he was "deeply disappointed" by the decision to end his contract.

'We want to see a change at Ulster Rugby, ' she said.

Meanwhile, writing for RugbyPass, former Ulster and Ireland flanker Neil Best, has criticised the effective sacking of the pair. "I bear no-one any ill will".

"It's a clear statement from them about behaviour of rugby players and a clear statement to women, too", she said.

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