Ulster Rugby sponsor 'highly concerned' after rape trial

By Mark Simpson

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Both Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding were found not guilty in unanimous verdicts

One of Ulster Rugby's key sponsors has said it is "highly concerned" by issues arising out of the rape trial involving Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding.

Bank of Ireland said it has conveyed its concerns directly to Shane Logan, the chief executive of Ulster Rugby.

The bank's logo is on the back of the Ulster shirt, and they have been sponsors for 20 years.

Ulster and Ireland players Mr Jackson and Mr Olding were both found not guilty of rape in last month's trial.

In a statement to The Times newspaper [£], a spokesperson for the bank said: "As a sponsor of Ulster Rugby, Bank of Ireland is highly concerned regarding the serious behaviour and conduct issues which have emerged as a result of the recent high profile trial.

'Core values'

"The bank has formally conveyed these concerns to the CEO of Ulster Rugby.

"It is of paramount importance to Bank of Ireland that our sponsorship activity aligns with and supports our core values, and reflects positively on Bank of Ireland through association.

"We understand that an internal review is underway. We expect this review to be robust, to fully address the issues raised, and that decisions will be taken - and policies and protocols be put in place - that fully address the issues that have arisen.

"Given that a review is underway, we won't comment further on this issue at this time."