Protesters lined the steps of a Cork courthouse with underwear as part of a demonstration against victim-blaming

Protesters lined the steps of a Cork courthouse with underwear as part of a demonstration against victim-blaming

Female lawyer's comments in the Cork-based trial were slammed as victim-blaming.

Protests against victim-blaming have broken out around Ireland following comments made in a recent Co Cork rape trial.

During the trial where a 27-year-old man was accused of raping a 17-year-old girl, the teenager’s underwear was brought up in closing arguments.

Read More: Fury as man acquitted of raping teenage girl, her underwear used against her in trial

Senior counsel Elizabeth O’Connell said to the jury: "Does the evidence out rule the possibility that she was attracted to the defendant and was open to meeting someone and being with someone?”

"You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front."

The defendant - who maintained the relationship with the teenager was consensual - was ultimately proven not guilty. Now, protesters are slamming what they consider to be victim-blaming in the course of the trial.

After the verdict, ‘I Believe Her - Ireland’ tweeted that they wanted users to share pictures of their underwear with the hashtag #ThisIsNotConsent to highlight that a woman’s choice of underwear does not indicate her willingness to engage in sexual activity or not.

At the forefront of the protest is TD Ruth Coppinger who held up a pair of thong underwear while speaking in the Dail this week following the verdict.

Read More: Miss Massachusetts who survived gang rape quits contest after #MeToo joke

In the Dail, TD Coppinger said: “Why is nothing yet being done to stop the routine use of rape myths in trials, and how concerned is this Government about the chilling effect this is having on victims coming forward?"

In response, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: "It doesn't matter what you wear. It doesn't matter where you went, who you went with or what you took, whether it was drugs or alcohol.”

"Nobody who is a victim of sexual violence or rape is ever to blame for the crime committed on them and I believe any defense on those lines is absolutely reprehensible," he said.

Protesters stepped out in both Dublin and Cork echoing TD Coppinger’s statements. Online, people are tweeting pictures of their underwear with the hashtag #ThisIsNotConsent.

Fiona Corcoran from 96FM in Co Cork shared a video of protesters marching through Cork City:

In Dublin, It Stops Now posted a video of protesters chanting “clothes are not consent”:

Cork Councillor Fiona Ryan tweeted how “proud” she was of the protesters who stepped out:

One Twitter user asked what kind of undewear girls are allowed to wear:

The Independent reports that “a full review of the legal area involved is now underway by Professor Tom O'Malley, one of Ireland's top legal experts.”

Do you agree or disagree with protesters? Share in the comments