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David Patrick Lindsay James "Paddy" Jackson (born 5 January 1992) is a professional rugby union player from Northern Ireland. He primarily played at fly-half for Irish provincial side Ulster in the Pro12 and also played in France for Perpignan. He signed with London Irish for the 2019–20 Premiership Rugby season.[1]

Paddy Jackson
Birth nameDavid Patrick Lindsay James Jackson
Date of birth (1992-01-05) 5 January 1992 (age 27)
Place of birthLisburn, Northern Ireland
Height1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight89 kg (14.0 st; 196 lb)
SchoolMethodist College Belfast
Rugby union career
Position(s) Fly-half
Current team London Irish
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Belfast Harlequins ()
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
London Irish
Correct as of 7 May 2019
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Ireland U20
Ireland Wolfhounds
Correct as of 16 April 2018

Jackson captained the Ireland under-20 team.[2] He won 25 senior caps for Ireland between 2013 and 2017.

In 2017 Jackson was charged with rape, and in 2018 he was tried and acquitted. Following the trial and the publication of related derogatory text messages, the Irish Rugby Football Union revoked his Ireland and Ulster contracts.



Jackson made a surprise debut as the starting outhalf against Scarlets in February 2011. The young playmaker had represented Ireland at a number of levels and was included in the Ireland Junior World Championship squad in 2011.

Jackson primarily played at fly-half but can also play at inside centre. Jackson played arguably his best game against Connacht Rugby in 2012 when he scored a try, a conversion, and three penalties.[citation needed] He earned his place in the Ulster starting lineup including the defeat to Leinster Rugby and then the Heineken Cup 22-19 win over Edinburgh Rugby.

In 2014, Jackson and some teammates found themselves the subject of some controversy when a social media posting by Jackson came to light of them at a party, blacked-up, in slave costumes and holding an Ethiopian flag. Ulster Rugby apologised "unreservedly for any offence" and Jackson removed the post. [3] The Irish Rugby Football Union were also involved in the handling of this incident. [4]


Jackson played for the Ireland under 20 team.

He made his senior debut for Ireland on 24 February 2013, starting against Scotland in the 2013 Six Nations Championship.[5]

Sacked from Ulster & IrelandEdit

On 14 April 2018, the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) revoked Jackson's Ulster and Ireland contracts following his rape trial and acquittal.[6]


Following his banishment from Irish rugby, Jackson signed a two-year contract in June 2018 with Perpignan in France.[7]

London IrishEdit

Jackson exercised a clause in his contract with Perpignan that allowed him to leave the club when they were relegated from the Top 14. He signed with London Irish, who had been guided back to the English Premiership for the 2019–20 season by former Ireland head coach Declan Kidney.[8]

Before the start of the season, London Irish sponsor, Cash Converters, announced that they were withdrawing sponsorship of the club, and many fans also tweeted that they would boycott the club, using the #IBelieveHer hashtag.[9] This was followed six days later by an announcement by Diageo that they would be withdrawing their Guinness-branded sponsorship from the club as a result of Jackson's signing. They said in a statement "We have met with the club to express our concerns. Their recent decision is not consistent with our values and so we have ended our sponsorship." Diageo and Guinness had sponsored the club for the previous 27 years.[10][11]

Rape and sexual assault caseEdit

Jackson, along with Stuart Olding, Blane McIlroy, and Rory Harrison, was arrested and questioned about allegations of a rape and sexual assault alleged to have taken place during an after-party at Jackson's home in South Belfast in the early hours of 28 June 2016. In July 2017, they were told by the police that they would face charges in relation to the alleged rape and sexual assault. The trial started in January 2018, with prosecution and defence concluding their cases in late March. On 28 March 2018, after less than 4 hours of deliberation, the jury delivered a unanimous not guilty verdict for all four men (the judge having indicated a unanimous verdict was required).[12][13][14][15]

Following the trial and the release of text messages sent to a WhatsApp group, a series of protests and condemnation was levelled at Jackson for leaving the complainant in a distressed way and the sexist and degrading tone of the messages. On 6 April 2018, Jackson acknowledged that the condemnation was "fully justified" and apologised adding "I am also truly sorry for engaging in a WhatsApp group chat which was degrading and offensive and I apologise unreservedly for this."[16]

In March 2018, Jackson's solicitors announced that he intended to sue Irish Labour Party Senator Aodhán Ó Riordáin for defamation following a tweet Ó Riordáin made following Jackson's acquittal.[17]

Jackson's and Olding's contracts were revoked by Ulster Rugby and the IRFU on 14 April 2018, following a review. A statement from the IRFU stated "In arriving at this decision, the Irish Rugby Football Union and Ulster Rugby acknowledge our responsibility and commitment to the core values of the game: Respect, Inclusivity and Integrity. It has been agreed, as part of this commitment, to conduct an in-depth review of existing structures and educational programmes, within the game in Ireland, to ensure the importance of these core values is clearly understood, supported and practised at every level of the game." Jackson released a statement, saying "I am deeply disappointed about the outcome of the IRFU and Ulster Rugby's internal review. However, I recognise that my behaviour has fallen far short of the values expected of me as an international player, a role model for the game of rugby and as a son and a brother. I am truly sorry."[18]


  1. ^ "Paddy Jackson signs for London Irish". RTÉ Sport. 7 May 2019. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-12. Retrieved 2012-04-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Ulster Rugby players wear black make-up in 'Ethiopian' photo: Paddy Jackson dressed as 'slave'". Belfast Telegraph. 11 July 2014.
  4. ^ "Ulster Rugby apologise for players in 'Ethiopian' photo". BBC. 11 July 2014.
  5. ^ "Paddy Jackson can now handle the Scottish onslaught, says Brian O'Driscoll". Irish Examiner . 2 February 2017. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  6. ^ "RFU And Ulster Rugby Statement On Paddy Jackson And Stuart Olding". Irish Rugby. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Fans 'Stand Up' for Jackson as he debuts for Perpignan". Irish Examiner. 11 August 2018. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  8. ^ "London Irish confirm signing of Paddy Jackson". The42. 7 May 2019. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  9. ^ Shaw, Alex (7 June 2019). "Sponsor drops London Irish over Jackson signing". Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  10. ^ "Diaego ends London Irish sponsorship over Jackson signing". RTÉ. 13 June 2019. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  11. ^ Farrell, Sean (13 June 2019). "Diageo end 27-year Guinness sponsorship of London Irish over Paddy Jackson signing". Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  12. ^ "Rugby rape trial: All four defendants found not guilty on all charges". The Journal. 28 March 2018. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  13. ^ "Irish rugby stars accused of rape 'boasted about sex on WhatsApp'". The Journal. 30 January 2018. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  14. ^ "Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding in court on rape charges". BBC News. 30 January 2018. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  15. ^ Gallagher, Conor (26 March 2018). "Belfast rape trial: Jury can consider if memory lapses a 'convenient excuse'". The Irish Times. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  16. ^ Association, Press. "'Ashamed' Paddy Jackson apologises for 'degrading' messages". Irish Times. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  17. ^ Logue, Patrick. "Paddy Jackson's lawyers say he intends to sue Aodhán Ó Riordáin over tweet". Irish Times. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  18. ^ "'I am even more determined to prove myself' - Olding and Jackson respond after IRFU sack Irish rugby Olding now plays with brive rugby club in France.players". Irish Independent. 14 April 2018. Retrieved 14 April 2018.

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