Belfast Telegraph

Over 1,350 sign petition demanding an Easyjet apology for Twelfth ban

By Chris McCullough

More than 1,350 people have signed an online petition calling on budget airline Easyjet to make an apology for banning publicising the Twelfth of July from its in-flight magazine.

The airline said it would not be highlighting the event any more in its magazine following a complaint from a blogger using the name Sammy McNally.

Mr McNally had complained the airline had published a piece on the Twelfth in its magazine saying: "Hundreds of colourful parades take place across Northern Ireland on the July 12 bank holiday to commemorate the 1690 Battle of the Boyne."

The Orange Order took offence to the issue when Easyjet apologised to the blogger, citing the airline's behaviour as "ludicrous."

In an earlier response Easyjet said: "We fully understand the sensitivities around the event and apologise for it not being spotted."

The online petition was set up asking Easyjet to apologise for its remarks on a page entitled 'Hands Off Our Culture'.

On the page it says a response from Easyjet stated: "In this instance the author of our Belfast guide felt the event's inclusion was of cultural interest to our readers, however, we fully understand the sensitivities around the event and apologise for it not being spotted at our normally rigorous editorial sign-off.

"We will not be working with this writer again and will not include such recommendations in future."

The online petition is on the site and also calls for a boycott of Easyjet if an apology is not forthcoming.

The webpage says: "So basically it should never have been in their magazine is what Easyjet are saying which is wrong.

"It's a big part of our culture here and I not only call upon Easyjet to make an apology but I ask them to make sure that the Twelfth of July is added to their magazine every year from now on. If not I call upon every Orangeman to protest by boycotting this company."

DUP MLA and Orangeman William Humphrey has written to Easyjet asking for a meeting with the airline.

"Ironically I have also received comments from Easyjet staff who disagree with the airline's action," he revealed.

"Hopefully a meeting with the airlines will be set up soon so we can discuss this," said Mr Humphrey.

Speaking about the online petition, he said: "I am unhappy they choose to apologise to one blogger who obviously has an agenda.

"Easyjet does not realise the length and breadth of support that the Twelfth of July has in Northern Ireland.

"I previously wrote to Easyjet but I received a response that was wholly and totally inadequate. I have since asked for a meeting, as has the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland."

No-one from Easyjet was available for comment last night.

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