Campaigners say sports stars like Jackson must be held to account


Michael Staines
Michael Staines

09.56 14 Jun 2019


Share this article


The National Women's Council of Ireland has said influential sports stars must expect to be held to account over their actions.

It comes after drinks giant Diageo pulled its sponsorship from UK rugby club London Irish for signing former Irish international Paddy Jackson.

The company announced the decision yesterday, saying it had “serious concerns” over the decision to sign the 27-year-old.

Mr Jackson’s contract was cancelled by the IRFU after he was found not guilty of rape at a trial in Belfast last year.

He signed for the newly-promoted UK Premiership club last month after one season with French side Perpignan.

Guinness had been partners with London Irish for 30 years – however its parent company Diageo said it was ending its sponsorship because the signing is “not consistent with our values.”

Jackson Dublin Rape Crisis Centre CEO Noeline Blackwell at the launch of the RCC Annual Report in Dublin, 26-11-2018. Image: RollingNews

Attitude

This afternoon, the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre said Mr Jackson has not taken any steps to show that his attitudes have changed.

CEO Noeline Blackwell said that, despite his acquittal, some of the details that emerged during the trial left Diageo with a decision to make.

“Lack of respect for women as shown in the WhatsApp groups; the fact that a girl left his house in a state of distress and a lack of remorse or any indication that attitudes have changed,” she said.

“They are not the values of Diageo; They are not the values of an awful lot of people here.”

Role Model

On Newstalk Breakfast, Women’s Council Chairperson Ellen O'Malley Dunlop said both Jackson and London Irish must take responsibility.

“He is not a good role model for young people,” she said.

“Clubs and organisations that are working with young sports people need to ensure that their behaviour has to be above reproach because, when they are successful, they get huge adulation and that brings with it more responsibility.”

Sponsorship

The Diageo decision came after Cash Convertors announced its own decision to cut ties with London Irish.

It said it was “committed to the highest possible standards when it comes to our investments in any sponsorships and collaborations.”

However, London Irish has denied that Cash Converters' decision was specifically related to the signing of Jackson.

The club has said it is "understandably disappointed" by the Diageo decision.


Share this article


Read more about

Belfast Diageo Guinness Jackson London Irish Paddy Jackson Rugby Sponsorship

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

The Pat Kenny Show

The Pat Kenny Show

09:00-12:00

Share

Up next

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

MONCRIEFF

MONCRIEFF

14:00-16:00

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

16:00-19:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-22:00

Share

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-06:00

Share

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

06:00-06:30

Share

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

06:30-07:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

07:00-09:00

Share

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on