Sex offender Jay Donnelly sacked by Cliftonville FC, reports claim

Jay Donnelly in action for Cliftonville earlier this season. Photo by Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Jay Donnelly in action for Cliftonville earlier this season. Photo by Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
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Shamed striker Jay Donnelly has been sacked by Cliftonville Football Club, it has been reported.

While the club hasn’t yet issued an official statement, media outlets including the BBC and UTV have reported that his contract has been terminated.

Jay Donnelly arriving at Laganside Courts in Belfast for his appeal hearing earlier this week. 'Picture by PressEye.com

Jay Donnelly arriving at Laganside Courts in Belfast for his appeal hearing earlier this week. 'Picture by PressEye.com

On Tuesday a judge ruled that the Irish League footballer, from Ardilea Drive in north Belfast, must serve three months imprisonment for distributing a photo of himself having sex with a 16-year-old girl.

The 24-year-old appealed the jail sentence handed down after he admitted sharing the indecent image with a friend and up to 10 other players on a WhatsApp social media group.

But despite reducing the original term imposed by a month, His Honour Judge David McFarland insisted that a deterrent punishment behind bars was required.

Reacting to Donnelly being jailed yesterday, Cliftonville issued a statement saying “the club’s management committee will now take cognisance of the final judgment, related matters, the input of relevant bodies and will follow the required club disciplinary procedures.”

The Irish Football Association said it was considering charging Donnelly with bringing the game into disrepute.

The News Letter has contacted Cliftonville FC for comment.