THE RAPE TRIAL INVOLVING IRISH RUGBY PLAYERS PADDY JACKSON AND STUART OLDING HAS BEEN A SAD SAGA AND IT SEEMS THAT THERE ARE NO "WINNERS" AND THAT ALL INVOLVED ARE "LOSERS".
These two men have been found legally not guilty and therefore from the purely legal perspective they must be regarded and treated as not guilty.
Of course, we must also remember that when you go to court you do not always get JUSTICE. Very often you just get LAW.
There is a world of difference between justice and law.
Many guilty people have been found innocent by the law. And many innocent people have been found guilty in law.
I suppose all that proves is that human justice is flawed and that all human legal systems are far from perfect.
Personally, I was very disturbed by the vicious cross-examination had to endure at the hands of the defense barristers in this case. I imagine her time in the witness box was at least as painful as the time in the bedroom.
She seemed like a piece of meat being torn asunder by the highly paid, flesh-eating barrister hounds.
It's like the old question: "What is 2 + 2"?
"The mathematician says it is 4.
"The philosopher says: "Let us reflect on these concepts".
And the lawyer says: "What would you like it to be"?
It makes us understand how few raped women - and men - come forward and make a complaint. Why would anyone, recovering from a rape, put themselves forward for such treatment?
Those genuine rape victims who do come forward are to be congratulated for their utter courage.
I am hoping that the women in this case, who I believe was a medical student, can find healing and go on to have a happy and productive life.
And I am not without sympathy for Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding. Its so easy in the rough and macho world of rugby to get yourself into bad places - especially when alcohol becomes involved.
I do think that the Rugby authorities in Ireland and Ulster were right to withdraw their licence to play. Leaving legal guilt and innocence aside, the whole episode did bring their game into major public disrepute.
In fairness to Paddy Jackson, he did say after his licence was revoked that he had fallen well below certain standards.
Maybe the playing ban injects a little bit of justice into the equation?
I hope that these five young people - the young lady and the four young men - manage to get over everything that has happened and that they all manage to secure a happy future.
And I hope that they will all learn important lessons from what has happened - especially the lesson that they will not make the same mistakes in the future.
"It's not what happens to you in life that is always important. It is how you handle it".