The 26-year-old says he will always regret the events of the night of June 28th 2016

Paddy Jackson says he's ashamed that the woman who accused him of rape left his home distressed.

He has also apologised for betraying the values of his family.

The Ireland and Ulster rugby player has issued a statement after being acquitted of rape last week.

He says he will always regret the events of the evening of the 28th of June 2016.

In the statement to the Press Association, the 26-year-old said he is ashamed a young woman who was a visitor to his home left in a distressed state.

He also apologised unreservedly for engaging in "degrading and offensive" WhatsApp conversations.

He said the public criticism was fully justified and said he wants to return to the values and principles that guided his upbringing – in particular the importance of respect.

He added: "My departure from these values has caused understandable public anger and I am resolutely committed to returning to those principles".

Jackson and his teammate Stuart Olding were unanimously acquitted in Belfast Crown Court last week of raping the same woman at a party at home.

Two of their friends were also acquitted of charges arising out of the same night.