Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Ex-police officer refused entry to Belfast bar wearing poppy 'suffered discrimination' - court hears

Former police officer denied entry to a Belfast bar for wearing a poppy 'suffered discrimination'
Former police officer denied entry to a Belfast bar for wearing a poppy 'suffered discrimination'

A former police officer denied entry to a Belfast bar for wearing a poppy suffered discrimination, a court heard today.

Ted Cooke is suing the former owners of the Northern Whig over being turned away from the city centre premises last November.

Belfast Recorder's Court was told Mr Cooke was with his wife and daughter when door staff refused to let them in because they were wearing remembrance poppies.

He has brought a civil claim against Botanic Inns Ltd, the pub chain which owned the Northern Whig at the time.

Botanic Inns has since gone into administration.

Mr Cooke's action is backed by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.

In court his lawyers argued that being turned away from the bar constituted indirect discrimination.

It was contended that the poppy is an emblem mainly worn by one side of the community.

The actions of the door staff responsible was discriminatory under the Fair Employment and Treatment Order, according to their case.

Following submissions judgment in the case was reserved.

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