Fury after teenager’s G-string was used as evidence in a rape trial

Leona O’Callaghan

"You have to look at the way she was dressed", she added. But the reason I'm doing it: how do you think a... woman feels at the incongruous setting of her underwear being shown in a court?

Elizabeth O'Connell, the defence counsel, reportedly asked jurors: "Does the evidence out-rule the possibility that she was attracted to the defendant and was open to meeting someone and being with someone?"

"The women of this country are getting a little tired at the routine victim-blaming that is going in Irish courts, and the failure of lawmakers in this House do anything about it", she added, the Irish Independent reported Wednesday.

The demonstrations took place in cities all over Ireland and featured women carrying their underwear and posters urging for accountability.

Nearly 400 people rallied in Cork on Wednesday against the verdict, the Irish Independent reported, while the social media campaign #ThisisNotConsent gained traction globally.

He claimed the incident, which happened in a Cork alleyway, was consensual.

Although it's unclear whether the jury was influenced by the display of the underwear, at issue for many is the fact that Ireland has no specific law regarding whether such evidence should be used to impugn someone's character or virtue.

The day after publication of that court report, the head of Dublin's Rape Crisis Centre criticised the barrister's remarks.

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"It's absolutely appalling", she said.

Amid increasing media attention, Irish social media users expressed outrage at the remarks in court.

Using a thong as evidence of implied consent was considered victim-blaming by many women on social media, who started publishing pictures of their underwear using the #ThisIsNotConsent hashtag.

The row follows the trial in Belfast earlier this year of Ireland and Ulster Rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding. The revelations caused controversy on both sides of the border.

In Cork, where the trial took place, an estimated 200 people gathered to march on the courthouse and lay underwear on its steps.

Meanwhile, in the capital under the Spire of Dublin monument, a "washing line" of underwear was hung from one lamppost to the other.

People gather on November 14 for a protest in support of victims of sexual violence in Dublin.

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