Belfast Telegraph

Cliftonville release statement confirming sacking of Jay Donnelly

Jay Donnelly in action for Cliftonville.
Jay Donnelly in action for Cliftonville.

Cliftonville FC has released a short statement confirming the sacking of striker Jay Donnelly after his jail sentence for distributing an indecent image of a child.

In the two-line statement the club confirmed that it had terminated Donnelly's contract with "immediate effect, following the conclusion of our disciplinary proceedings".

It is understood the delay in sacking the player was due to the club taking advice on employment law.

Donnelly had been informed of the sacking in prison on Wednesday, his 24th birthday.

He is in custody in Maghaberry Prison after being jailed earlier this week.

Donnelly was handed a three-month prison term on Tuesday by a judge who rejected an appeal for his sentence to be suspended.

Donnelly previously admitted distributing a photograph of the then 16-year-old girl, taken while they were having sex in 2016.

He was originally sentenced to four months in jail in January but was released on bail pending an appeal.

On Tuesday a judge at Belfast County Court reduced his term to three months but refused to suspend the sentence.

In a statement issued by his solicitor, Donnelly apologised to his victim and said he accepted the court’s decision.

The Irish FA is currently considering a charge against Jay Donnelly of bringing the game into disrepute.

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