The Reaction To Best & Henderson Attending Jackson & Olding’s Rape Trial Has Not Been Good
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Ireland captain Rory Best and his teammate Iain Henderson were in attendance for day two of the trial of Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding at Belfast Crown Court yesterday. Both Olding and Jackson are accused of raping the same woman at a property in south Belfast in June 2016. Jackson faces a further charge of sexual assault. Both men deny the charges.
The case has been made very public due to the high-profile nature of the Ulster and Ireland Rugby stars, and is set to continue for five weeks. Given how delicate and indeed high-profile the case is, many are baffled by Best and Henderson’s decision to attend yesterday.
Craig Gilroy was also said to be in attendance, but the issue seems to be having two current internationals in attendance, especially given the attention currently on them for the Six Nations, which is just a couple of days away.
Here are just some of the comments made online.
Hard to see Rory Best attend the Paddy Jackson trial. Don't think it's the place for the current Irish captain – offer your support in a personal private capacity.
Role of captain is more than a title, it should be protected & respected as such regardless of personal views.
— icaniwont (@icaniwont) January 31, 2018
Rory Best choosing the day of this woman’s testimony to show up to the Paddy Jackson/Stuart Olding trial seems a lot more like intimidation than support
— Sarah (@Saloulen) January 31, 2018
heartbreaking stuff, really hard to read. I’m really disappointed in @RoryBest2 along with other players supporting these “boys” in something so serious. I realise innocent till proven guilty but if the outcome comes out as truth as suggested. Supporting rapists. No coming back
— Cathy Kavanagh (@cathy_kavanagh) January 31, 2018
Sick to my stomach that @IrishRugby @RoryBest2 are both professionally & publicly supporting Paddy Jackson & Stuart Olding in this case. Something as serious as a rape allegation with enough evidence to bring to court is not something to disregard. Serious issue if found guilty.
— Alexandra Zarrah (@Ali_ZONeill) January 31, 2018
If that photo of Rory Best was from today, then I think that’s a really bad judgement call. I understand wanting to support a friend, but he’s also the @IrishRugby captain. Three days out from start of the #SixNations to be appearing in that court, not good.
— Alastair McDermott (@AMcDermott) January 31, 2018
Sickening that @RoryBest2 went to support Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding today. Nothing has angered and disappointed me this much in a long time.
— Cathy Beirne (@CathyBeirne) January 31, 2018
Could we get an official comment on the public support shown by @RoryBest2 and @HendersonIain for Paddy Jackson and his vile actions @IrishRugby? It’s sickening to see the current Irish captain supporting this kind of an attitude towards woman.
— Ellen Boyle (@BoyleEllen) January 31, 2018
As an Irish and Leinster supporter I am disgusted at Rory Best's support for Paddy Jackson et al. As a mother of daughters and sons, sister of sisters, teacher of girls and boys and human being, I am appallled.
— Barbara Mulhall (@MulhallBarbara) January 31, 2018
Regardless of any friendship w Paddy Jackson, it is beyond inappropriate for Rory Best to go to court to support him on the first day of the victim testifying. Not the judgement of a man that deserves to be the Irish rugby captain @IrishRugby
— (((Colin))) (@CoHesl) January 31, 2018
I’ve always admired Rory Best and thought him a decent guy, but this is a mistake. Obviously he’s going to want to support his team mates, but him publicly being there looks like an intimidation tactic. As Irish captain it’s not how he should present himself. https://t.co/MoG8QklCXL
— dee bee (@MadBeare) January 31, 2018
Alleged Ulster Rugby rapists supported in court today by Rory Best and others.
If there are guilty verdicts will this not reflect very badly on Ulster Rugby?
— SherdyMe (@SherdyMe) January 31, 2018
— Conor Mac Allister (@conorthomas89) January 31, 2018
— Sinead O'Carroll (@SineadOCarroll) January 31, 2018
Really cannot stress how disappointing it is to see Rory Best turn up to support Paddy Jackson in court
— Eoin Keane (@EoinKeane101) January 31, 2018
Regardless of the outcome of the trial, there is no way @IrishRugby CAPTAIN @RoryBest2 should be at the court PUBLICLY supporting the defendants. Absolutely disgusted. @UlsterRugby @IrishRugby have handled this all very poorly. He should be stripped of the captaincy. @BBCSPORTNI
— Kirsty Keegan (@Kirsty_Keegan) January 31, 2018