Belfast Telegraph

Olding and Jackson sacking: 'Delighted' feminist group vows to keep up fight on misogyny

By Victoria Leonard

The feminist group which led the 'Stamp Out Misogyny' protest outside the Kingspan stadium last Friday has said it is "delighted" that Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding have been sacked from the Ulster and Ireland teams.

On Saturday, the IRFU and Ulster Rugby confirmed they had revoked the contracts of the two players following an internal review into their conduct which launched after the men were acquitted of rape last month.

Belfast Feminist Network, which demonstrated outside the home of Ulster Rugby last week, said they viewed the decision to dismiss the pair as "a victory for all the people who joined with us to say that they could not accept anything less than full accountability".

However, the group said that Ulster Rugby "has work to do if it wants to convince us that they will take action against sexism and ensure things like this do not happen again".

It stated: "We are pleased to hear that those players who have exposed themselves as misogynistic will no longer be representing Ulster Rugby.

"We see this as a victory for all the people who joined with us to say that they could not accept anything less than full accountability.

"However, as we made clear at our rally Ulster Rugby has work to do if it wants to convince us that they will take action against sexism and ensure things like this do not happen again.

"We look forward to hearing how they intend to do this."

The feminist group also revealed that its social media page had experienced a "huge spike" in engagements following the protest, but said that they had been forced to ban some commentators from the page for "victim-blaming", "misogynist language" and "anti-feminist slurs".

They also warned users that comments posted on its social media page regarding the Belfast rape trial could be "targeted for legal action" if they were deemed libellous.

The feminist organisation had previously said that the recent rallies were "the start of a movement to change how our criminal justice system deals with sexual assault crimes".

Despite Mr Jackson and Mr Olding being cleared of all charges, they said that "the fight continues".

The group is calling for reforms to the criminal justice system in cases of alleged sexual assaults, including changes to media reporting, and wants an education programme on "consent and toxic masculinity" to be taught in schools.

It also wants "adequately resourced support services for victims and survivors of rape and sexual abuse".

Belfast Telegraph

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