Irish politician holds up thong in parliament in protest

Women are tweeting pictures of their underwear after rape case

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

Speaking to The Independent, Noeline Blackwell, the head of Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, said she was not surprised that the teenager's underwear was the focus for the defence.

"Does the evidence out rule the possibility that she was attracted to the defendant and was open to meeting someone and being with someone?"

She stood up, took a lacy blue thong from her sleeve and said: "It might seem embarrassing to show a pair of thongs in the incongruous setting of the Dáil, but the reason I'm doing it - how do you think a rape victim or a woman feels at the incongruous setting of her underwear being shown in the courts?".

The accused told his senior counsel that what happened was consensual.

The Rosa Socialist Feminist Movement held a protest in Cork "to stand in solidarity with survivors and demand an end to victim-blaming in the courts".

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Amid increasing media attention, Irish social media users expressed outrage at the remarks in court.

Since the media attention, many women have turned to social media and post photos of their underwear accompanied by the hashtag "This Is Not Consent".

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.

The controversy surrounding the trial was reminiscent of an outcry over intimate details made public in the trial of two high-profile rugby players, who were cleared of rape in Northern Ireland earlier this year.

While a woman politician of the country recently waved a pair of black laced underwear in the parliament (Dail), other women have also taken to posting pictures of their own underwear on the Internet and even rallies are being held around the country.

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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