Protesting feminist group wants to ‘stamp out misogyny at Ulster Rugby’

Placards set to be used by the Belfast Feminist Network at tonight's protest
Placards set to be used by the Belfast Feminist Network at tonight's protest

A feminist group that has organised a protest at Ulster Rugby’s Kingspan Stadium tonight said it is not about the careers of the players currently suspended.

It is Ulster first home game since the high-profile rape trial involving Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding ended with a not guilty verdict for both men.

A rally held in Belfast on March 29 following the not guilty rape verdict on the Ulster Rugby players

A rally held in Belfast on March 29 following the not guilty rape verdict on the Ulster Rugby players

The rally – entitled ‘Stamp out Misogyny at Ulster Rugby’ and organised by Belfast Feminist Network – will take place before Ulster play Welsh side Ospreys.

The spokesperson for the group said: “This rally is not about the future careers of the players currently suspended.

“While I’m sure not many in this movement want to see those players back representing Ulster given what has been revealed about their character, our rally is about much more than that.

“We want there to be proper accountability for those players from the IRFU and Ulster Rugby but we also want a commitment from leaders within the rugby establishment that they will take action to stamp out misogyny.”

The group said it is also determined to “change how our criminal justice system deals with sexual assault crimes”.

It also called for “a compulsory comprehensive relationship and sexuality education programme in all schools which includes consent and toxic masculinity” as well as adequate support services for victims of rape and sexual abuse.

The Kingspan protest will take place at 7pm close to the main Mount Merrion entrance to the stadium.

In a Facebook post, the group said it had “some concerns about a confrontational attitude from a minority of fans, but equally we reckon there will be many who support what we’re doing”.