Hotel apologises to Apprentice Boys

The Bishop's Gate Hotel

The Bishop's Gate Hotel

The Bishop’s Gate Hotel has apologised to the Apprentice Boys they turned away on St Patrick’s Day.

The men were asked to remove their club ties before entering the hotel following their parade and church service at St Columb’s Cathedral.

The hotel’s general manager, Ciaran O’Neill, said: “I have now fully investigated the matter and spoken directly to the two men in question and I have apologised and they have accepted our apology for any misunderstanding that may have occurred.

“The Apprentice Boys in this city have done tremendous work in finding accommodation and in building good relations.

“I have spoken personally and met with Billy Moore today to reassure him and to ensure that we continue in goodwill and in good faith to build upon the good work that has already gone before.

“The Bishop’s Gate Hotel is major regeneration project for this area of the city and is here to serve all of the community.

The luxury 31-bedroom Bishop’s Gate Hotel, which opened last month, is the latest project of the Inner City Buildings Preservation Trust, a subsidiary of the Inner City Trust which is dedicated to preserving the unique built heritage of the 17th century Walled City.

The hotel takes its name from the nearby Bishop’s Gate where King James II arrived in April 1689 to demand entry to the besieged city during the Siege of Derry.

Highlighting the issue yesterday, Mitchelburn Parent Club President, Maurice Devenney, said: “The wearing of an ABOD club tie is no different to someone wearing a rugby club tie, a sporting club tie or a club tie for any other recognised organisation.

“All the ABOD members at church today and on parade were very well-dressed in suits and none of them were intoxicated.

“From my perspective as President of the Mitchelburn Parent Club, it was a very, very dignified church parade and it was well-organised and I commend the members of the No Surrender parent Club who organised it,” he said.