Bar 32 apologises for ejecting customers wearing poppies

Bar 32, Midland Road
Bar 32, Midland Road

The owner of an Irish bar which allegedly ejected customers for wearing poppies has apologised for the fracas.

At around 2.30am on Remembrance Sunday (November 8) staff at Bar 32, on Midland Road, Luton, reportedly gave a number of patrons an ultimatum to remove their poppies or leave the venue.

In response to those who complained, a post on the pub’s Fecebook account mocked: “Ha ha if I offended people tonight (good) for wearing the flower of (terrorist)”.

Another message read: “Am in IRA”.

The resulting fallout saw a small protest outside the pub the same evening, led by English Defence League founder Stephen Yaxley.

After a week of silence Bar 32 owner Adrian Robb has apologised for the incident, following a meeting with Mr Yaxley on Friday.

In a statement Mr Robb said: “I confirmed to him (Mr Yaxley) that despite all the various threats made to my family, my home and my business premises no attempt has been made to execute them.

“I feel it is appropriate to offer my sincere and unreserved apology to those offended by my response to their comments on social media.

“Further it was never my intention to cause offence to those who proudly wear the iconic poppy.”

Mr Robb added that he felt he acted “in the best interests” of his business and customers.

Protesters who gathered outside the bar to air their grievances were prevented from entering by police officers.

Beds Police continues to investigate the dispute and subsequent threats made against the bar and Mr Robb.

Bar 32’s offending social media posts were later deleted and the entire page was later taken down, but it has now been restored to Facebook.

Before the account was taken down many users raised concerns over a picture which promoted an ‘Ulster Bomber’ drink available at the pub.

In August 1998 a Real IRA car bombing in Omagh, County Tyrone (Ulster), killed 29 people.