Belfast Telegraph

Sunday Life

Groom in "F*** the Pope' wedding video pictured with UVF murderer

 

Christopher 'Sid' Stevenson (right) with and 'Hard to Kill' Aiken (light blue top and pink glass)
Christopher 'Sid' Stevenson (right) with and 'Hard to Kill' Aiken (light blue top and pink glass)
John Toner

By John Toner

A newly wed husband at the centre of a sectarian wedding video outrage has been pictured alongside a notorious UVF murderer.

A video of Christopher 'Sid' Stevenson and wife Jennie singing "f*** the Pope and the IRA" in front of their wedding guests went viral last week, causing anger and outrage online.

Now, Sunday Life can reveal a picture of hubby Christopher alongside UVF gunman Andy 'Hard To Kill' Aiken.

Aiken, who was given a UVF funeral after being found dead last year, was one of two assassins who gunned down ex-loyalist prisoner Bobby Moffett on the Shankill Road in 2010.

The newlyweds singing a sectarian song at their wedding in Carrickfergus
The newlyweds singing a sectarian song at their wedding in Carrickfergus

 

The gunman was also part of a UVF hit squad who plotted to murder UDA-linked loyalist Curtis Moorehead, who survived being shot by the terror gang outside a Sandy Row bar in 2000.

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Aiken was born and raised in The Village area of south Belfast where the Stevensons live with their three children. There is no suggestion Stevenson had any knowledge of or involvement in his crimes.

Stevenson was also pictured alongside senior South Belfast UVF members at the UVF centenary parade in 2013, including Colin 'The Meerkat' Fulton.

Last week, Jennie and Christopher 'Sid' Stevenson were filmed entering a 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.

Footage of the pair belting out the song at the Loughshore Hotel, Carrickfergus has been watched 1.4 million times on Twitter. 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.

When asked by Sunday Life on Friday if the pair would like to comment on the video, Christopher Stevenson said: "No, you're all right, mate. Jennie's not in at the minute and I'm just a painter. No mate, that's okay, thank you."

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.

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.

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: "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."

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