'F**k the Pope and the I.R.A.' incident not a crime say P.S.N.I.

The P.S.N.I. has concluded no criminal offence was "identified" after it ended its investigation into an incident concerning a bride and groom from Northern Ireland chanting 'f**k the Pope and the I.R.A.' at their wedding reception.

Wednesday, 9th October 2019, 11:50 am
The wedding took place in the Belfast Loughshore Hotel, Carrickfergus on Friday October 4.

A brief video clip of the newlyweds seemingly chanting 'f**k the Pope and the I.R.A.' at their wedding reception in the Belfast Loughshore Hotel in Carrickfergus went viral when it was published on social media at the weekend.

"Each and every incident we deal with is treated on its own merits," Chief Inspector Simpson 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 offence. No offences relating to the incident were identified," declared Chief Inspector Simpson.

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

On Saturday, a short video clip emerged showing 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 appear to shout 'f**k the Pope and the I.R.A.'

The groom can be seen embracing some of the guests sitting at the top table while his new wife appears 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.