Extra gardaí in town for Traveller wedding

EXTRA gardaí will be drafted into a Co Cork town today in case trouble flares at a double Traveller wedding reception, which will be held in a local hotel.

A large number of the 20 plus licensed premises in Youghal closed to strangers last night. Regulars who knocked on the front door were quickly ushered in and the door promptly closed behind them.

A spokesman for the Traveller movement has strongly decried the publicans’ decision which they say is blatantly discriminatory against Travellers.

Nonetheless, publicans are expected to repeat the exercise again today when up to 200 guests arrive at a reception at the Walter Raleigh Hotel.

Friends and relatives of the two brides, who come from Ennis, Co Clare, are expected to turn up in large numbers at the reception, which will be held following the 3pm wedding ceremony in Waterford city.

The mayor of Youghal, Councillor Ollie Casey, said he had no problem with Traveller wedding receptions in the town, providing there wasn’t any trouble.

“If people behave themselves there won’t be any problem,” Cllr Casey said.

Meanwhile Mary Murphy, who owns and manages the Walter Raleigh Hotel with her husband Edmond, yesterday told the Liveline programme on RTÉ’s Radio 1 yesterday she did not expect trouble of any kind at or following the wedding reception.

She denied also there would be hundreds of Travellers coming to the town for the reception.

“It is booked for a maximum of 150 people,” Ms Murphy said, “and we understand that there may be even less than that number attending”.

She said she expected everyone to be on their best behaviour and believed the occasion would pass off without incident.

Meanwhile publicans are continuing to defend the stance they have taken, insisting they were not against Travellers with one saying: “The charge that we are being racist in our approach to this is utterly untrue.”

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