Carrickfergus hotel releases statement after 'f*** the Pope and the IRA' wedding video goes viral
A video of a Belfast bride and groom repeatedly singing "f*** the Pope and the IRA" in front of wedding guests has caused shock and revulsion online.
The couple wed on Friday and were filmed entering the hotel reception room to cheering guests including children before breaking into a sectarian song to the tune of Tina Turner's hit Simply the Best.
More than 800,000 Twitter users had last night viewed the video featuring newlyweds Christopher 'Sid' Stevenson and Jennie Andrews belting out the song at the Loughshore Hotel, Carrickfergus.
The majority of viewers responded with fury, describing the video as sad, sick and embarrassing. "Bigotry and sectarianism at its best," said one social media user in one of the more printable responses.
The song was once used as an anthem by Johnny Adair and his UDA 'C Company' and is regularly adopted by loyalists.
In the video, some wedding guests can be seen enthusiastically dancing and joining in with the chanting as a number of young children look on in the hotel function room. As the pumping pop classic gets going, bride Jennie, in her flowing white bridal dress, struts along to the music and raises her hands in the air as she shouts "f*** the pope and the IRA".
Groom Christopher, dressed in a black tuxedo and bow-tie, almost raises his arms before embracing a member of the wedding party.
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At one point a woman can be heard shouting "Go on Jennie!" as the couple make their way around the room.
Some of the guests, including children, appear to be confused and embarrassed by events while cheering on.
On Twitter, Carrickfergus resident Stephen Donnan-Dalzell tweeted: "I got married in this room, I'm absolutely disgusted."
Twitter user Sarah Beans added: "You can buy an expensive dress. You can buy dinner for your family and your closest friends. You can hire a hall. You can do all this and more on the most important day of your life. But no matter what you can do for this day, you can't buy class."
A spokesman for the Loughshore Hotel said: "In the light of the observations of a private wedding celebration at Belfast Loughshore Hotel on Friday 4th October, the hotel wishes to communicate that we do not align with such expressed political and religious views.
"The hotel has a long history of representation from many political and religious beliefs throughout all levels of the organisational structure; from the owners and senior management to every employee role at Belfast Loughshore Hotel.
"We have faithfully served people of varied racial, religious, cultural and political backgrounds with impartiality, an impartiality that extends to all of our suppliers. The hotel employs people of Carrickfergus and further afield, from both major Northern Ireland religious backgrounds and those of many other beliefs.
"Specifically regarding the content of the video of the wedding, we do not condone the actions of the wedding party and do not give any support to the communications highlighted."