FORMER Ireland international rugby player Davy Tweed is launching an appeal on Friday against his conviction and sentence for 13 child sex abuse offences.
His case has been listed at the Court of Appeal in Belfast for hearing in front of senior judges.
Lawyers want his conviction and sentence quashed on a number of points of law.
If his appeal is successful, senior appeal judges could order a re-trial.
The 53-year-old was found guilty last November by a jury at Antrim Crown Court of sexually abusing two girls over an eight-year period.
Following his conviction, the trial judge described his offences as “vile, wicked, dastardly and distasteful”.
Before sentenced was passed in January, a Crown lawyer said Tweed’s offences had “marred the lives” of his victims and will “continue to mar their lives”.
Presiding Judge Alistair Devlin, sitting at Downpatrick Crown Court, described the abuse as “thoroughly despicable and deeply disturbing”.
The Orange Order expelled him from its ranks following the jury’s verdict.
An Orange Order spokesman said: “Mr Tweed’s conviction automatically terminates his membership of the Institution”.
Tweed was also a Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) Ballymena councillor and a member of the Royal Black Preceptory (RBP).
A spokesman for the RBP said the process of expelling Tweed from the organisation had started.
Tweed joined the TUV in November 2010 but his membership was put on hold when he was charged with the sex abuse offences.
In a statement at the time, the party said: “TUV notes the conviction of Cllr David Tweed of offences relating to a period long before he was a member of this party.
“Cllr Tweed’s party membership, in accordance with party rules, has been suspended since he was charged.
“We respect the jury’s verdict and Mr Tweed’s rights of appeal.”
Unlike the Orange Order, the RBP’s internal disciplinary procedures take longer to implement.
The organisation had previously suspended him in 2009 after he was charged by police in a separate child abuse case.
However, Tweed was reinstated after he was cleared of sexually abusing two girls.
A spokesman for the RBP said after his conviction and sentence: “Following the conviction of David Tweed the process started to expel him from the institution.”
Tweed has two previous convictions unrelated to the abuse case.
In 2008 he was convicted of drink-driving. In 1997, he was fined for assaulting a man in a Ballymoney pub.
Tweed also played rugby for both Ireland and Ulster.
He made his debut for Ireland in 1995 and secured four caps for his country.