‘We are appalled’: Rugby club expels player convicted of rape

Mullingar Rugby Club ‘deeply shocked and saddened’ to learn of crime committed by Jonathan Moran (26)

Jonathan Moran was convicted last April but only named this month. Photograph: IrishPhotoDesk.ie

Mullingar Rugby Club has confirmed that it has expelled Jonathan Moran (26) after it emerged this week that Moran is awaiting sentencing for rape and aggravated sexual assault.

The crimes took place in July 2019.

Moran was convicted last April but his name was only published this week at a sentencing hearing when the woman he attacked, Bláthnaid Raleigh, waived her right to anonymity. The court had been told that Moran had used a bottle to assault Ms Raleigh, who subsequently spent months in treatment in a sexual assault unit.

Moran was a very well-known and popular member of the club where he has played for more than a decade. He played on the senior first team and gained his 100th cap for that team in January. However, he was swiftly expelled when the club authorities became aware last Monday of the conviction and impending sentencing.

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Senior members called an emergency general committee meeting, which was held on Wednesday night, and Moran’s association with the club was terminated.

The club’s general committee issued a statement to The Irish Times on Saturday saying: “Mullingar Rugby Football Club was deeply shocked and saddened to learn on Monday of the crime committed by former member Jonathan Moran. We condemn and are appalled by this act.

“Mullingar RFC prides itself on fostering an inclusive and safe environment for all members. We are committed to promoting a culture of respect, integrity and zero tolerance for any form of abuse and to upholding the values of sportsmanship, integrity, and respect for all.”

The statement was signed by the General Committee Mullingar Rugby Football Club.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist