Belfast Telegraph

Sunday Life

Northern Ireland footballer on child sex pictures charges

Cliftonville star Jay accused of sharing indecent image

By Christopher Woodhouse

Cliftonville star Jay Donnelly has been charged with taking and distributing an indecent photograph of a child, Sunday Life can reveal.

The 22-year-old striker for the north Belfast side, who also played for the Northern Ireland Under-21 squad, is due before Belfast Magistrates Court tomorrow on two charges.

It's alleged that on June 28 last year he took an indecent photograph of a child and between that date and October 25, 2016, he distributed or showed the photograph.

The club were unaware that Donnelly had been charged and is due to appear in court.

He started for the Reds with his brother Rory as they beat Carrick Rangers at their home ground Solitude 3-0 yesterday.

Jay rose through the club's youth teams and second string, Cliftonville Olympic, before starting for the senior squad.

Donnelly has also played for the Northern Ireland Under-21 side but parted ways with coach Jim Magilton last year.

He was one of the players who Northern Ireland national team manager Michael O'Neill appeared to refer to when he hit out at some Irish League players' attitudes towards making the breakthrough into the national side or earning moves into the professional leagues in England or Scotland.

"There are other players out there. I could name six or seven players in the Irish League that could follow Liam Boyce's path or the path taken by Stuart Dallas," he said.

"But it is up to them - they have to decide if they want it enough to go and have a career and be an international and look back at 35 with the wealth of having 10 or 15 years in the game in England behind them, or are they happy to be playing here and being the biggest man locally?"

Donnelly also started for Cliftonville in their 4-0 away victory at Dungannon Swifts on October 28, while in their League Cup tie against the PSNI on October 4, he slotted home two goals as the Reds routed the police 7-0.

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