Northern Ireland hotel defends staff for not stopping 'f*** the Pope and the IRA' chants at wedding reception
The Group Operations Director at the Belfast Loughshore Hotel has defended staff for not intervening after a couple entered their wedding reception to chants of "f*** the Pope and the IRA".
Stephen Carson posted a statement on the hotel's Facebook page saying it would be the final word from them on the matter.
The statement comes after a video was posted online showing a couple entering the hotel 's reception room to cheering guests including children before breaking into a sectarian song to the tune of Tina Turner's hit Simply the Best.
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Hundreds of thousands of people viewed the video featuring newlyweds Christopher 'Sid' Stevenson and Jennie Andrews.
The song was once used as an anthem by Johnny Adair and his UDA 'C Company' and is regularly adopted by loyalists.
Mr Carson said that the wedding reception took place at the hotel's Loughview Suite on Friday afternoon.
"At the Belfast Loughshore Hotel we are committed to providing the highest standards of customer service to all our guests irrespective of their race, colour, creed or religious beliefs," he wrote.
He said that the hotel could no longer respond to messages about the incident due to the high volume it had received.
"The reality is that the level of emails and Facebook Messages have now become too great for us to answer directly as our response to some has been 'not sufficient' nor 'good enough' and it is becoming a distraction from our core business which is 'looking after our customers'," the statement read.
"The events that took place did so in a private room, hired by a couple to hold their wedding reception. The events that took place had absolutely nothing to do with the owners, management or staff of the Belfast Loughshore Hotel.
"Our company employs over 300 people from all backgrounds and we as a Hospitality Family practice the religion of customer service. We treat our guests as we would like to be treated ourselves, with respect, care and love."
Mr Carson said that many people had been asking why staff did not intervene to stop the incident.
"To the many people commenting “why didn’t the Hotel Manager step in and put a stop to it?” – my answer is simple – I as the leader of the company would never ask or expect anyone who works with me to do something that I would not do myself and I can assure you all that I would not be prepared to 'pull the plug' and risk what was a 90 second episode where no-one was hurt becoming something much worse," he wrote.
"So, the Hotel Manager who carried on and did his job has the full support of our hospitality family."
He said the hotel would not be addressing the incident again.
"We will not be responding to any further emails or messages about this event and I apologise in advance for any upset that may cause," Mr Carson said.
"I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you our loyal customers who continue to allow us to serve you."
Belfast Telegraph Digital