By Denise O’Donoghue
A father has spoken out against his local cinema after they confiscated his son's bottle of water, despite apparently knowing that the boy was diabetic.
Bryan Keelan took to Facebook to express his anger and disappointment at the way his nine-year-old son, also named Bryan, was treated in the Arc Cinema in Drogheda.
Bryan Jr, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just three months ago, was refused permission to bring his own drink into the screening as it was not purchased on the premises.
"The lady behind the counter who was serving them, in front of everyone, pointed at my son and said that he couldn't bring his small bottle of water with him into the cinema," Bryan Snr writes.
The staff member was informed that the child was diabetic, shown his medical wristband, and told he would need to consume the water throughout the long film.
"She still refused to let the child bring the water in with him and then took the bottle of water out of the child's hand, again in front of everyone, and told him there was loads of water behind the counter if they wanted to buy some," Bryan Snr continued. "At this stage everyone in the queue heard everything and were disgusted with the way he was treated with his condition."
Bryan Jr, who was at the cinema with his friend and friend's his mother, was still upset from the experience by the time he returned home.
"We approached Bryan, sat him down and asked him what had happened," his father wrote. "He started to tell us, but he burst out crying and got too upset because he thought he had done something [wrong]."
Bryan's parents contacted the cinema to clarify the situation, and they were told no liquids bought elsewhere would be permitted inside the cinema, despite a medical condition that requires them.
"My wife even asked [the manager of the cinema] if she was to go in with him and she was carrying a bottle of Lucozade, which we bring with us most times just in case he would get a low sugar level and the Lucozade would bring it back up quickly, would it be taken off us and he replied ‘yes it would’."
Bryan Snr says it is a "disgrace" to treat a child this way, and explained that a trip to the cinema is one of the few treats his son can enjoy.
"Bryan was so excited to be heading to the cinema purely because with his condition he doesn't get other treats like sweets, crisps, soft drinks, etc," he explained.
"We had just given Bryan a bottle of water and nothing else because obviously he can't have the goods that the ARC Cinema would have to offer."
Read the full Facebook post below:
Hat tip: irishexaminer.com