Northern Ireland

Northern Whig bar 'turned family away for wearing poppies'

A former police officer denied entry to a Belfast bar for wearing a poppy suffered discrimination, a court has been told.

Ted Cooke is suing the former owners of the Northern Whig.

He was turned away from the city centre bar in November 2012.

Belfast Recorder's Court heard that Mr Cooke was with his wife and daughter when door staff refused to let them in because they were wearing remembrance poppies.

He has brought a civil claim against Botanic Inns Ltd, the pub chain that owned the Northern Whig at the time.

Botanic Inns has since gone into administration.

Mr Cooke's action is backed by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.

In court his lawyers argued that being turned away from the bar constituted indirect discrimination.

It was contended that the poppy is an emblem mainly worn by one part of the community in Northern Ireland.

The actions of the door staff responsible were discriminatory under the Fair Employment and Treatment Order, according to their case.

Following submissions, judgement in the case was reserved.