The four rugby stars at the centre of one of one of Ireland's most high profile trials have today been acquitted of all charges.
Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding had been accused of raping a 19-year-old woman at a house party in Belfast in June 2016. Both of them had been found not guilty.
Blane McIlroy has been found not guilty of exposure.
Rory Harrison, who was in contact with the victim after the alleged assault, was found not guilty of withholding information and perverting the course of justice.
It took just under four hours for the jury of eight men and three women to reach their unanimous verdict on all counts.
The trial took nine weeks.
Since the delivery of the verdict just after noon today, #IBelieveHer has become the number one trending hashtag on Twitter.
Hundreds have channeled their frustration into doing what they can to assist victims of sexual assault, including donating to charities that work with victims.
Please don’t let this dishearten anyone who is considering reporting a sex crime. It’s important to talk, it’s important to tell someone. Your voice is important!
Help is there for you, we are here for you. #IBelieveHer
— Anna O’Donoghue (@AnnaVDesigns) March 28, 2018
The #IBelieveHer hashtag gives an insight into how deeply upsetting this court case was for so many people. If nothing else, it must surely lead to a change in how rape trials are conducted. Is there any other crime in which the alleged victim appears to be the one on trial?
— Sarah McInerney (@SarahAMcInerney) March 28, 2018
This woman was bleeding and crying on the night in question. Her taxi driver remembered her. She told people what happened. She sought medical treatment the next day. She reported what happened. She did everything you are supposed to do. And yet.
— ⭐ amy o’connor ⭐ (@amyohconnor) March 28, 2018
Twitter user @nicoleglennon added: “And people wonder why rape is so underreported. #IBelieveHer”
Others have made the argument that as the jury heard all of the evidence and were not relying on the media’s narrative of events, the jury’s decision should be final.
Duno why people are saying it’s a joke that paddy Jackson etc were found not guilty. It’s down to the jury- they made their decision. They heard the full story, we only hear what the media was allowed to release. Justice was done. #paddyjackson
— Rachael McRobbie (@rachaelribbon) March 28, 2018
Regardless of my opinion on whether or not Paddy Jackson is guilty or innocent I can’t help but feel as though this trial has done irreparable damage to future rape victims and the likelihood of them coming forward
— Jayne Walsh (@playnjayne2) March 28, 2018
If you have been affected by this article, local support services are available:
Donegal Sexual Abuse & Rape Crisis Centre – Freephone: 1800 44 88 44 www.donegalrapecrisis.ie
For information about Sexual Assault Treatment Units, visit: http://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/5/sexhealth/satu/
Donegal Women’s Centre: Phone: (074) 912 4985 donegalwomenscentre.ie