Paddy Jackson playing for Ireland during the 2017 TBS Six Nations campaign.

Paddy Jackson playing for Ireland during the 2017 TBS Six Nations campaign.

Rugby player Paddy Jackson has released a statement one week on from being acquitted of rape in a Belfast court. 

 

Jackson, 26, was last week found not guilty of the rape of a young woman in one of the country's most high profile court cases to date. Yesterday, he released his first public statement since the trial ended, saying he is "ashamed that a young woman who was a visitor to my home left in a distressed state".

A review by the IRFU is ongoing, and until such a time as the rugby organisation has completed its own review, Jackson, was has been capped for Ireland 22 times, is relieved of his duties on the national team. 

When the trial ended, thousands of men and women in Ireland were mobilised to take place in marches to support the complainant in the trial, who was subjected to several days of intense interrogation on the stand and a #Ibeliveher movement swept the nation across social media.

in light of Jackson's statement, many people are wondering if a not guilty verdict and a public apology for degrading remarks on a WhatsApp group will be enough to save Paddy Jackson's public image and indeed his career. What do you think? Is Paddy Jackson's statement enough? 

Here is the statement in full:


"I am ashamed that a young woman who was a visitor to my home left in a distressed state. This was never my intention and I will always regret the events of that evening. I am also truly sorry for engaging in a WhatsApp group chat which was degrading and offensive and I apologise unreservedly for this. The criticism of my behaviour is fully justified and I know I have betrayed the values of my family and those of the wider public. Following the trial I have taken time to reflect with my family on the values that were such an integral part of my upbringing, the most important of which is respect. My departure from these values has caused understandable public anger and I am resolutely committed to returning to those principles."