Jay Donnelly: Former Cliftonville striker signs for Glentoran after spell at Belfast Celtic

Jay Donnelly
Donnelly will be loaned out to Belfast Celtic "for the immediate period"

Former Cliftonville striker Jay Donnelly has signed for Irish Cup winners Glentoran.

The 25-year-old served a three-month prison sentence last year, beginning in April, for distributing an indecent image of a child.

He was charged by the Irish FA with bringing the game into disrepute and suspended from playing football until 1 September 2019.

The Reds sacked Donnelly after he was given his prison sentence.

Donnelly admitted a charge of distributing an indecent image of a child in November 2018 and was sentenced to four months in prison in January 2019.

His original sentence was reduced by an appeal judge to three months.

The forward will be immediately loaned out to Ballymena Intermediate League side Belfast Celtic, who he joined in January.

Donnelly will be joining his brother Rory at the Oval, with the brothers having also played together at Cliftonville.

"Glentoran Football club believes that everyone deserves a chance to put mistakes behind them and Jay Donnelly is no different," said the Oval club in a statement.

"The club acknowledges that he has both paid and atoned for his past mistakes and deserves the opportunity to rebuild his life and football career.

"We look forward to him making a positive contribution to the club, and to giving our supporters further reason to see the coming season as one of great opportunity for Glentoran."

The Glentoran statement said speculation surrounding Donnellly's signing in the past week "has caused debate within our supporter base" but manager Mick Dermott appealed to the club's fans to "trust and back my judgement".

"I'm also aware of the incidents in his recent past and his remorse for them. I have made a judgement call here and I ask the Glentoran support to trust and back my judgement on this signing," said McDermott.

The Glens lifted the Irish Cup with an extra-time win over Ballymena United in the final at the end of July.

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