Guinness ends 30-year link with London Irish over Paddy Jackson deal

Paddy Jackson is leaving Perpignan to join London Irish. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
Paddy Jackson is leaving Perpignan to join London Irish. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
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Guinness has ended its long-running sponsorship of London Irish over their signing of former Ulster stand-off Paddy Jackson, who was found not guilty of rape last year but had his contract revoked by the Irish Rugby Football Union over a series of unsavoury text messages.

Drinks giant Diageo, whose brands include Guinness, has decided to end a near 30-year link with the Exiles club.

“Their recent decision is not consistent with our values and so we have ended our sponsorship,” said 
Diageo in a statement.

Jackson, 27, is due to sign from Perpignan. He and then Ulster team-mate Stuart Olding were acquitted in March last year of raping the same woman in Mr Jackson’s house in 2016.

A Diageo spokesman said the company was “committed to the highest possible standards” and there was “a series of reasons” for ending the sponsorship.