Shock has been expressed after a bride and groom in County Antrim sang “f*** the Pope and the IRA”, a hate-filled, anti-Catholic song as their wedding tune.
Shock and outrage has been expressed after a video emerged of a newly married couple, from the unionist tradition, singing an anti-Catholic song on their wedding day song to a room crowded with guests, including children who were encouraged to join in.
A video of the bride and groom singing "f*** the Pope and the IRA" at their wedding reception occurs as the couple enters the ballroom in a hotel in Carrickfergus, County Antrim, singing the blatantly sectarian lyrics. The incident occurred earlier this month.
Northern Ireland police investigated the video. The police told The Irish News “The incident in Carrickfergus was investigated as a hate incident; legal advice was sought as to whether any of the actions constituted a criminal offense.
“No offenses relating to the incident were identified."
No one stepped in to stop the performance and the staff at The Belfast Loughshore Hotel said they were “not prepared to intervene” and “risk it becoming something much worse”.
Stephen Carson, Manager of the hotel, said: "The events had absolutely nothing to do with the owners, management or staff.
"To the many people commenting, 'Why didn't the hotel manager step in and put a stop to it?', my answer is simple.
"I would never ask anyone to do something that I would not do. I can assure you all that I would not be prepared to risk what was a 90-second episode where no one was hurt becoming something much worse."
The sectarian song is chanted by Glasgow Rangers football fans in Scotland and Unionists in Northern Ireland.
Social media outcry
Over 1.5 million people have seen the video online.
One user on Facebook said: "Disgraceful. They don't think much of the guests and families and children. They must have a very sad life organizing to have that played at their wedding."
Another stated: "Sad, sad couple if that's all they could sing on their wedding day."
A Twitter user commented: "Imagine; You finally get married to the love of your life. You and he are surrounded by love and all that's in the minds of these two amadáns. Is "F**k the Pope and the IRA". Miserable people ..I swear. [sic]"
The song’s opening lyrics read:
“When I was young I had no sense
I bought a flute for 50 pence
The only song that I could play
Was f.. the Pope and the IRA.”
What do you make of the video? Do you believe it should be a public offense to sing such songs? Let us know in the comments section below.