Irish Republican News · October 16, 2015
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Frazer sees red over tourist green


Loyalist lobbyist Willie Frazer is set to organise protests at Belfast Airport over the sale of tourist merchandise he has described as “pro-Irish paraphernalia”.

He said the protest is in response to the airport’s lack of “Northern Ireland” branded souvenirs.

The unionist hardliner lashed out at tourist merchandise which carries the Ireland logo. He said the airport had become filled with “a sea of green leprechauns”, which he described as “a hate crime”.

After posting a photograph of shirts branded ‘Ireland’ in a souvenir shop at the airport, Frazer vowed to begin protests unless the airport swaps the green merchandise for products which are red, white and blue.

“Selling Irish goods and souvenirs is one thing but when every last vestige of Northern Ireland’s place within the UK is totally obliterated by a sea of green leprechauns and pro-Irish paraphernalia - well that’s ... a hate crime against NI British citizens,” he declared.

“It is unfortunate but due to the lack of an adequate response from Belfast International Airport we have been left with no choice but to organise a protest which if necessary will be only one of many.”

Mr Frazer said that he did not ask that all Irish products be removed, but that products “embellished with representation of Northern Ireland and its part within the United Kingdom” are made available.

“This is an equality issue, and many of those from Northern Ireland feel that the current range of products is attempting to remove our identity, glossing it over with an all things Irish approach which is not acceptable,” he said.

A spokesman for the airport said the comments “amounted to an outrageous and outlandish slur”.

It said it features ‘local’ food, drink and craft producers in conjunction with the Ulster Drink and Food Producers Group.

“This initiative, on its own, gives the lie to what are wild, inaccurate and attention-seeking assertions.”

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