Nine months after the story broke, this evening THE IRFU and Ulster Rugby have suspended Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding.
The IRFU and Ulster Rugby are aware that Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding have been charged by the PSNI in relation to serious allegations made against them.
The players have cooperated fully and strenuously deny the charges.
The IRFU and Ulster Rugby take these allegations extremely seriously.
To allow the players time to address this matter fully, the IRFU and Ulster Rugby have agreed that they will be relieved of their duties and obligations until the conclusion of this process. Appropriate support structures will be put in place with them during this time.
As this is a matter for the Public Prosecution Service it would be inappropriate to comment further.
The Public Prosecution Service said:
“Following a careful review of all of the available evidence, in accordance with our Code for Prosecutors, it has been decided that there is sufficient evidence to prosecute four individuals.The PPS statement added:
As the criminal proceedings against these individuals have commenced and each has a right to a fair trial, it is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice proceedings.”
Solicitors representing Mr Jackson and Mr Olding made statements
Solicitor Joe Rice, representing Stuart Olding said:
“I would like to point out that my client has fully co-operated with the investigation and is not on any bail conditions and is of previous good character.
“He should be allowed to uphold his right to the presumption of innocence and rejects any allegation of wrong-doing and is confident his name will be cleared through the courts.”
In another statement on the matter, Paddy Jackson’s solicitor Kevin Winters said:
“He rejects the allegations completely and we’re very disappointed at the PPS decision to prosecute on these particular facts.”
“We say there is no basis for the decision to prosecute and we are confident that our client will be cleared of any charge.”