Rape Crisis Centre claims Paddy Jackson has not shown his attitude towards women has changed

Rape Crisis Centre claims Paddy Jackson has not shown his attitude towards women has changed
Paddy Jackson.

Update: The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre has said Paddy Jackson has not taken steps to show his attitude towards women has changed.

It comes after Diageo pulled its sponsorship of London Irish, who recently signed him.

Noeline Blackwell, CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, said what emerged during that trial has led to Diageo considering its sponsorship.

Ms Blackwell said: "Lack of respect for women was shown in the WhatsApp group and the fact a girl left his house in a state of distress.

"They are not the values of Diageo. They are not the values of an awful lot of people here."

File photo of Noeline Blackwell, CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre.
File photo of Noeline Blackwell, CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre.

After his acquittal last year, Jackson had apologised "unreservedly" for engaging in "degrading and offensive" Whatsapp conversations about the incident.

In April last year, Jackson said: "I am also truly sorry for engaging in a Whatsapp group chat which was degrading and offensive and I apologise unreservedly for this.

"The criticism of my behaviour is fully justified and I know I have betrayed the values of my family and those of the wider public.

"Following the trial I have taken time to reflect with my family on the values that were such an integral part of my upbringing, the most important of which is respect.

"My departure from these values has caused understandable public anger and I am resolutely committed to returning to those principles."

However, a former Ireland international has criticised Diageo's decision to pull their sponsorship of London Irish.

"I find it bizarre," said Fergus Slattery, who won 61 caps in the 1970s and 80s.

"Because the guys were deemed to be innocent, I was very, very disappointed that Diageo were pulling out of London Irish, I just don't understand it," he told the Today with Sean O'Rourke show.

"Whether it's Diageo or the IRFU, I just don't understand," he added, referencing the Irish rugby governing body's decision to revoke Jackson's contract in the wake of the trial.

Earlier: National Women's Council: Paddy Jackson 'not a good role model for young people'

The National Women's Council of Ireland has said sports people like Paddy Jackson need to be held to account for their actions.

Their comments come after Diageo ended their sponsorship with London Irish, who had signed the 27-year-old.

Jackson's contract was cancelled by the IRFU after he was found not guilty of rape at a trial in Belfast last year.

The drinks company said the signing is "not consistent" with the company's values.

In a short statement, Diageo confirmed they have ended their 30-year relationship with London Irish after a meeting to express their concerns.

"We have met with the club to express our concerns," the company said.

"Their recent decision is not consistent with our values and so we have ended our sponsorship."

They are now the second sponsor to cancel their contract with the club after Cash Converters ended its sponsorship in recent weeks.

Ellen O'Malley Dunlop from the Women's Council thinks both Jackson and London Irish must take responsibility.

Ms O'Malley Dunlop said: "He's not a good role model for young people. Clubs and organisations who are working with young sports people, they need to ensure that their behaviour has to be above reproach.

"Because, when they are successful, they get huge adulation and that brings with it more responsibility."

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