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Belfast printing business boss says sorry for Orange & Green Lives Matter T-shirts

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Green Lives Matter and Orange Lives Matter T-Shirts on display

Green Lives Matter and Orange Lives Matter T-Shirts on display

Green Lives Matter and Orange Lives Matter T-Shirts on display

The owner of a popular printing business has apologised after putting Orange and Green Lives Matter T-shirts on sale in his shop window.

Kopyright on High Street, Belfast, had the T-shirts displaying the controversial slogans side by side in one of the busiest shopping areas of the city last week.

Images of the garments quickly circulated on social media leading to a public outcry with many criticising the retailer for appearing to make light of the Black Lives Matter anti-racism cause.

Belfast man Peter Irvine posted images of the T-shirts on Facebook with the caption: "Kopyright in Belfast making a tacky mockery of such an important issue."

The post attracted hundreds of mostly similar comments and the images were shared widely across social media.

Top New York beauty professional and former Belfast resident Vincent Salinitri added: "For those who say 'all lives matter' you need to understand something. Of course we know that all lives are important!

"Unfortunately, the only way that all lives can matter, is if black lives matter too.

"These T-shirts make a mockery of the struggles happening here in the US everyday, which indicate a lack of empathy and understanding. That's just my opinion."

Following the outcry the shirts were swiftly removed from the shop window and managing director Stephen Seenan issued a statement in which he said staff members had been abused and threatened with the shop also being vandalised following the incident.

The Newtownabbey man said: "Kopyright shop Belfast would like to reassure everyone that we DO NOT condone or tolerate ANY type of discrimination or mistreatment of others.

"I removed two T-shirts put on display as soon as it was brought to my attention that they may cause offence and apologise to anyone who was upset by it. We are a local small business printing light-hearted, funny T-shirts and it is never our intention to cause animosity. Again, apologies for a hurtful error of judgment when we displayed two T-shirts which we accept undermined the important message of Black Lives Matter."

Belfast Telegraph