'F**k the Pope and the I.R.A.' - Loughshore Hotel defends decision not to intervene because 'risk of becoming something much worse'

A Northern Ireland hotel has stated the reason why staff did not intervene to stop a bride and groom singing 'f**k the Pope and the I.R.A.' as they entered their wedding reception was to avoid "something much worse".

Tuesday, 8th October 2019, 4:32 pm
These newlyweds chanted 'f**k the Pope and the I.R.A.' as they were greeted by their guests at their own wedding ceremony last week.
These newlyweds chanted 'f**k the Pope and the I.R.A.' as they were greeted by their guests at their own wedding ceremony last week.

The Belfast Loughshore Hotel, Carrickfergus hosted the wedding concerned in the Loughview Suite on Friday October 4, 2019.

On Saturday, a short video clip emerged appearing to show the two young newlyweds being greeted by their guests as they entered the function room.

Tina Turner song 'Simply the Best' is heard playing as the couple enter the room and proceed to shout 'f**k the Pope and the I.R.A.'

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The groom can be seen embracing some of the guests sitting at the top table while his new wife proceeds to shout the slogan again and again.

Young children are only a few feet away from the newlyweds as they continue on with the chant.

The original video went viral when it was shared on social media and at the time of publishing it received more than 1.5 million views.

Many of those who saw the video criticised hotel staff for not interrupting and stopping the incident.

The Belfast Loughshore Hotel published a statement on its Facebook page on Sunday evening.

Stephen Carson, Group Operations Director, said the reason the incident went unchallenged was because of the "risk" of it "becoming something much worse".

"To the many people commenting 'why didn’t the hotel manager step in and put a stop to it?' - my answer is simple - I as the leader of the company would never ask or expect anyone who works with me to do something that I would not do myself and I can assure you all that I would not be prepared to 'pull the plug' and risk what was a 90 second episode where no-one was hurt becoming something much worse," said Mr. Carson.

"So, the hotel manager who carried on and did his job has the full support of our hospitality family," added Mr. Carson.

Mr. Carson said it was the intention of the hotel to reply directly to all messages concerning the incident but due to the sheer volume of messages and emails etc. it would not have been possible to do so.

Mr. Carson stressed the incident "had absolutely nothing to do with the owners, management and staff" of the hotel.

"The events that took place did so in a private room, hired by a couple to hold their wedding reception.

"The events that took place had absolutely nothing to do with the owners, management or staff of the Belfast Loughshore Hotel.

"Our company employs over 300 people from all backgrounds and we as a hospitality family practice the religion of customer service."

Mr. Carson added: "We treat our guests as we would like to be treated ourselves, with respect, care and love.

"We will not be responding to any further emails or messages about this event and I apologise in advance for any upset that may cause. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you our loyal customers who continue to allow us to serve you," he said.

One man who claimed to have had his wedding reception at the hotel said he was "disgusted" at the video.

"I got married in this room, in the Loughshore hotel. I'm absolutely disgusted," said Stephen Donnan-Dalzell.

The P.S.N.I. has confirmed it is investigating the incident after it was reported to them.