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

Leona O’Callaghan

"So anything the defendant can do to suggest there was consent will be used", she said.

Irish MP Ruth Coppinger added to the outcry in the Dáil [Irish parliament] on Tuesday.

"Does the evidence out-rule the possibility that she was attracted to the defendant and was open to meeting someone and being with someone", asked Elizabeth O'Connell SC.

"The women of this country are getting a little tired at the routine victim-blaming going on in Irish courts, and the failure of lawmakers in this House to do anything about it", said Coppinger, who illustrated her point by holding up a black thong.

She said: "You have to look at the way she was dressed".

A barrister's tactic at the end of a rape trial has prompted women to share pictures of their underwear online. "She said she never had sexual intercourse before".

The accused maintained that the sexual contact between him and the girl, which took place in a laneway in Cork, had been consensual.

News of O'Connell's remarks spread like wildfire on social media and gave birth to the hashtag #ThisIsNotConsent, which is being shared with photos of women's underwear.

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The accused in the case who denied raping the woman was acquitted by the jury of eight men and four women at the Central Criminal Court.

She only held the underwear up for a brief moment, and the camera quickly pulled back from her as she did so.

What happened at the protests?

The verdict has caused anger among women's rights campaigners, who have organised a series of protests across the country this week.

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.

Protests in Dublin and Cork will begin at 1pm, Wednesday November 14 with a Limerick rally starting at the earlier time of 12.30pm.

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