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

A hotel in Belfast has distanced itself from a couple over sectarian chants at their wedding.

The Loughshore Hotel has released a statement explaining the events that happened there last Friday.

Videos which have since gone viral show the couple leading chants singing “F the Pope and the IRA”.

Hotel management says the reason staff didn’t intervene, is that it could have turned into something “much worse” if they did.

Since the footage was shared, Group Operations Director at Loughview Leisure Group Ltd. Stephen Carson issued the following statement on the hotel’s official Facebook page.

“At the Belfast Loughshore Hotel we are committed to providing the highest standards of customer service to all our guests irrespective of their race, colour, creed or religious beliefs. Up until now we have remained silent on Facebook about the events that took place in our Loughview Suite on the afternoon of Friday, 4 October 2019.

“We had decided to answer our customers’ comments directly and privately via Facebook Messenger, email etc. The reality is that the level of emails and Facebook messages have now become too great for us to answer directly as our response to some has been ‘not sufficient’ nor ‘good enough’ and it is becoming a distraction from our core business, which is looking after our customers.

“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. We treat our guests as we would like to be treated ourselves, with respect, care and love.

“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. So, the Hotel Manager who carried on and did his job has the full support of our Hospitality Family.”

“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.”