Watch: Ramore Portrush diners stunned as rat runs amok restaurant before brutal death
Council investigation underway into incident
Diners at a popular Northern Ireland restaurant were left shocked and stunned after a rat ran around their tables before a member of staff trapped the rodent with a brush and stamped on it to kill it.
It happened in the Ramore Wine Bar restaurant complex in Portrush on Tuesday evening.
The Ramore declined a request for comment at the time of publication while Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has confirmed it is aware of the incident and environmental health officers are investigating.
A 45-second video of the incident has gone viral with thousands of people watching it sharing and commenting.
Given the nature of the content Facebook deemed it "violent or graphic" and users had to hit an "uncover" button in order to see it.
The shaky footage starts showing someone going around the tables with two brooms with people squatting looking around the floor. It then quickly jumps to showing the rat running and jumping between the legs of diners at the tables.
One woman appears startled as someone informs her of what is at her feet.
Customers' and children's screams can be heard throughout the video as people dash around the restaurant. At one stage a man can be seen clambering on a chair to get off the ground.
The video then moves to show one man armed with the two brooms trap the rodent at a chair. He then stamps on the rat three times before then grinding it into the floor.
The room just howled. Diner Stephen Houston
Stephen Houston was out with friends at the restaurant. He said he received an apology from a manager after the incident and a free meal.
The rat can be seen jumping on his leg in the video.
Stephen said a commotion broke out and they had no idea what was happening until the husband of the woman filming the activity informed them.
He said after the rat was trapped a man stood on it and "blood spurted across the floor".
"The room just howled when that happened," he told the Belfast Telegraph.
The 26-year-old Christian charity worker said the rodent first appeared in the ceiling and was "dangling down" as between 20 and 30 people watched on.
"You could just see its long taill... the man with the brushes was poking away at it and it was always going to drop down on the floor.
"I was surprised they did not clear the room, there would have been people around the corner totally unaware there was a rat running about the tables and they just continued to serve food. Most people in the section we were in abandoned their food."
It was probably unnecessary.
The Broughshane man said staff hurried away with the creature after its death and then a waiter showed up with their food, which was turned away as they had no appetite.
"There was blood all over the floor," he said adding a manager later apologised and his group were moved to a new table and given a free meal and desserts.
"It was probably unnecessary," he added on the killing of the rodent, which many have also questioned on social media.
"I grew up on a farm and I am well aware of the circle of life. I thought it ridiculous they did it with everyone about. To just stamp on this rodent - there were children screaming.
"I think it could have been done another way."
Stephen says the restaurant is favourite spot for him and his friends and he would be a regular at least once a month. He said he will likely return but not in the short term.
"What a night," he added.
Staff at the Ramore complex told the Belfast Telegraph they would not be commenting and declined an opportunity to respond at a later occasion.
Belfast Telegraph Digital