Publican furious at anti-abortion posters in toilets

One of Cork’s best known publicans has removed anti-abortion posters from one of his venues after they were placed there without his knowledge.

Benny McCabe said he was “outraged” the posters had been put in advertising frames inside the men’s toilets of his Bodega pub on Cornmarket St.

Mr McCabe, who runs well-known pubs including the Oval, the Mutton Lane Inn, and Sin É, as well as the Crane Lane and Arthur Mayne venues, said he felt as if he had been “hijacked” and he planned to remove the frames from all his venues. “They’re out as soon as I can find my toolbox,” he said last night.

Mr McCabe, who attended the vigil for Savita Halappanavar outside the city’s Opera House last month, responded quickly yesterday after some people took to Facebook to complain about the washroom posters.

He apologised for any offence they may have caused.

“These posters were hung up overnight by a third party which rents small frames in the loos to facilitate advertising. These went up without our knowledge or participation. It has always been my policy to keep political and other issues out of the public spaces that I run.”

He contacted Belfast’s Image Zoo agency, which manages the ad space.

Its managing director, Suzanne Lea, apologised for the offence caused.

However, she said it was her company’s policy to provide ad space to anyone who wanted it, provided the message displayed was lawful and complied with advertising standards regulations.

She said the “life is precious poster” complies with all those regulations.

It was not clear last night who approached Image Zoo to buy the advertising space.

Mr McCabe rejected her assertion that it was not practical for Image Zoo to seek permission from every venue for every poster.

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