Belfast Telegraph

Fury as F-word T-shirt displayed in Belfast shop window

The shirt in the window of the Kopyright store in Belfast reads ‘Go F*** Your #Selfie’
The shirt in the window of the Kopyright store in Belfast reads ‘Go F*** Your #Selfie’
The shirt in the window of the Kopyright store in Belfast reads ‘Go F*** Your #Selfie’
Claire McNeilly

By Claire McNeilly

Fury has erupted after it emerged that a city centre retailer is openly displaying clothing which features the F-word in large letters.

Kopyright, a custom T-shirt shop located next door to St George's Church on High Street in Belfast, has showcased one of its garments with the slogan 'Go F*** Your #Selfie' in its window.

It is just one of a number of items on display, but the use of such extreme language that can be easily seen by youngsters on a busy thoroughfare has provoked anger.

Belfast High Sheriff Jim Rodgers has called for a crackdown on the sale of this sort of merchandise and he said he would be raising the issue with Trading Standards officials.

"It's totally disgraceful and I would appeal to the owners to remove it immediately," he said.

"It's offensive and it's not something that we want to see in any shop window in Belfast or Northern Ireland, let alone one that sits next door to a church. I have never ever witnessed anything like it in my life and I cannot understand how anybody could even think of putting that in a window."

In response to the Belfast Telegraph, shop owner Stephen Seenan said he was "really surprised" by the complaint.

"The T-shirt you are referring to has a joking/ironic slogan which customers see on the funny side and has been ordered several times," he said.

"It is not meant to cause any offence and up to now no one has ever contacted us to express any concern about it."

The top, which is the handiwork of Kopyright, a T-Shirt printing and embroidery specialist whose motto is "making it personal", has been in the window that overlooks Church Lane for weeks.

Mr Rodgers said that had such words appeared in graffiti on a city wall, it would have been painted over immediately.

"It's completely out of order and if they think it's acceptable I most certainly don't," the UUP man said.

"Many of my fellow councillors simply couldn't believe that this is happening and none of us can recall anything like this happening anywhere - not just here, but further afield.

"The problem is that it's inside a shop and not on the outside, but it's not acceptable in this society that we live in."

Mr Rodgers, a two-time Lord Mayor of Belfast, said it was a "particularly alarming" message to be sending out to young children.

He added: "We will not tolerate the sale of merchandise like these T-shirts on the streets of Belfast. They have no place in a city like ours - or anywhere else in Northern Ireland for that matter. I will be speaking to Trading Standards to stop the sale of these unpleasant tops."

Mother-of-two Patricia Latham (39), an account manager from Kells, said she found it "wholly immoral for a business to promote such sentiments".

"I understand that the retailer is into quirky T-shirts with eye-catching slogans but this is not something I want my kids to see in a shop window," she said.

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