Saturday 20 October 2018

Stripper party for GAA players 'may have broken the law'

St Patrick’s Ballyragget GAA. Photo: Mark Condren
St Patrick’s Ballyragget GAA. Photo: Mark Condren

A charity that works with women affected by prostitution and sexual exploitation has raised concerns with gardai over images showing two naked women celebrating with players from a Kilkenny GAA team.

Ruhama members are expected to meet with senior officers this morning over fears that a criminal act may have occurred if the females in question were paid for their services.


The photos - taken on Tuesday night, two days after St Patrick's Ballyragget GAA won the intermediate hurling county championship - have gone viral, and sparked an investigation by the Kilkenny County Board.

The photos show two naked women with the group of men.

One of the images, which were taken at an event involving a "small, core group" of the team, appears to show a woman performing a sex act on a man.

A member of the winning team was celebrating his birthday on Tuesday, and a small group of colleagues from the Co Kilkenny club were present.

It is understood another man - who is not associated with the club - was drinking with the group on Tuesday. He decided to hire two female strippers for the young man's birthday celebrations.

"This was not a GAA event, or an event that was linked to Ballyragget GAA club in any way," a source said.

However, speaking last night, Ruhama spokeswoman Ruth Breslin said: "If these women were paid, these men were potentially breaking the law and they need to be made aware of this."

She also called on the GAA to ensure that they create a safe space for women and young girls in its midst.


However, representatives for the GAA remained silent on the matter, stating: "This is a Kilkenny GAA issue."

Meanwhile, a mother who received images of the naked women celebrating with the club team on an Under-10s WhatsApp group has said she is making an official complaint to the GAA.

The woman, whose daughter plays U-10s football with a Dublin club, said she was "disgusted" by the incident.

She added that the photographs had come through on her phone while her daughter was sitting beside her.

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