Belfast Telegraph

Cliftonville breaks silence on Jay Donnelly - striker will not play this weekend

Cliftonville FC has announced striker Jay Donnelly will not play against Dungannon Swifts on Saturday.

It comes after the he pleaded guilty to distributing an indecent image of a child last Friday.

The 23-year-old had a count of taking or making an indecent photograph withdrawn when he appeared at Belfast Magistrates' Court last Friday.

The Belfast Feminist Network (BFN) criticised Cliftonville for playing Donnelly, and said they would stage a protest if the club fielded him in the game tomorrow.

The day after his guilty plea, Cliftonville picked him for a Danske Bank Premiership game against Linfield at Windsor Park.

Cliftonville maintained their silence following Donnelly's admission but have now announced the striker will not play this weekend, saying that the club are "dealing with a very sensitive and delicate matter" in relation to Donnelly.

"The Club Committee must always ensure that they act correctly when dealing with legal and employment matters and, as such, we have over the past few days been speaking to and availing of advice from all parties involved as well as support organisations," a club statement read.

"We have received legal advice not to comment on this matter further at this time. We assure all that this situation is extremely difficult to resolve and ask our supporters and indeed the media to please bear with us as we seek a resolution.

"Having spoken to all parties and Jay Donnelly, it has been decided Jay will not represent Cliftonville FC in tomorrow’s fixture with Dungannon Swifts."

Donnelly, from Ardilea Drive in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast, is due to be sentenced in January.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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