The Women’s Podcast: The Belfast rape trial

Reporter Conor Gallagher and Dublin Rape Crisis Centre’s Noeline Blackwell talk to Kathy Sheridan

"After 41 days, 30 witnesses, two snow storms, one Six Nations and three hours and 40 minutes of deliberations, the accused were acquitted on all counts."

So begins an in-depth report by Irish Times journalist Conor Gallagher, detailing the rape trial in Court 12 at Laganside in Belfast, which has dominated headlines for the last nine weeks.

In the dock were Ireland rugby internationals Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding, accused of the rape of a 19-year-old Belfast student. Also on trial were their friends Blane McIllroy, accused of exposing his genitals, and Rory Harrison, accused of perverting the course of justice and withholding information.

On today's podcast, Kathy Sheridan speaks to Gallagher who was in court throughout the trial which concluded on Wednesday when the jury delivered unanimous not guilty verdicts for each of the four defendants.


Noeline Blackwell, chief executive of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, discusses the differences between rape trials in Northern Ireland and the Republic, how the process can be improved to protect complainants and the impact that the Belfast trial could have on rape victims.

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