Belfast Telegraph

Cliftonville to 'follow disciplinary procedures' after striker Jay Donnelly jailed

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

Cliftonville Football Club has said it will follow disciplinary procedures after striker Jay Donnelly was jailed for sharing an indecent image of a child.

The 23-year-old has not played for the club since he was convicted in November. He had appealed the original jail sentence, which was reduced from four months to three on Tuesday.

Donnelly admitted sharing the indecent image with a friend and up to 10 other players on a WhatsApp social media group.

The Irish Football Association has said that it will consider a charge of "bringing the game into disrepute" against Donnelly, of Ardilea Drive in north Belfast.

Now Cliftonville has said that the final court judgment has been noted and that club procedures will be followed.

"Cliftonville Football Club have noted the final judgment in court proceedings in relation to Jay Donnelly," read a statement.

"The club’s management committee will now take cognisance of the final judgment, related matters, the input of relevant bodies and will follow the required club disciplinary procedures.

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"We wish to reiterate, as outlined in previous statements, that Cliftonville FC recognises the impact that this has had on the victim and her family. We condemn such actions without question."

Following the ruling, Donnelly issued a statement through his solicitor John Finucane.

He said: "I accept the decision of the court today in reducing my sentence from four months, to three months custody.

"It was accepted by the court today, that since this incident occurred three years ago, I had and continue to show genuine remorse for my action.

"I want to again apologise to the complainant in this case for the the hurt that my action caused.

"This will never erase what happened, but I hope that today's outcome provides her with a degree of closure that allows her to move on with her life."

Donnelly added: "I also want to thank my girlfriend, my family and my friends for the support they have shown me throughout this case.

"This is something I wish to move on from following my sentence, and I ask that my family are allowed to move on also, and are given privacy to do so."

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