This is the shocking moment a Northern Irish Tesco shopper hits out at a poppy seller, demanding to know who gave her permission to sell ‘badges for murderers’.
The irate customer calls the store’s security on the pensioner sitting behind the stall – telling her it is ‘not acceptable’ to the Catholic community for her to be selling the Remembrance poppies.
The Police are now treating the altercation as a ‘hate incident’, a spokeswoman for the PSNI confirmed.
Ulster Unionist Party leader Doug Beattie said the poppy selling pensioner looked ‘intimated’ in the video.
In response to a tweet saying the irate woman was upset over ‘RUC and UDR badges’ being sold and not the poppies, he said they are ‘sold every year’ alongside the poppies to raise funds for the British Legion.
The irate woman hits out at the pensioner behind the stall – saying it is ‘not acceptable’ to the Catholic community for her to be selling the remembrance material
The unpleasant confrontation, at the Millenium Way store in Lurgan, near Belfast (pictured), sees customers reacting in fury as the woman berates the pensioner behind the stall
He wrote: “[The badges are] Sold every year to raise funds for the poppy appeal and RBL. If you can’t see how intimidating it was for this lady then maybe you are part of the issue I raise in my original tweet.”
In an earlier tweet, Mr Beattie criticised the ‘intolerance’ on both sides – republican and unionist – in the Northern Ireland community.
He said: ‘Graffiti on Orange Halls, anti GAA stickers… None of this is acceptable.’
The confrontation, at the Millennium Way store in Lurgan, near Belfast, sees customers reacting in fury as the woman berates the pensioner behind the stall.
Filming her shouts, she rages: ‘This is not acceptable! This is not acceptable to the Catholic community in this town.
Do you know either woman in this video? Email: Dan.Grennan@mailonline.co.uk
‘The British Army and the RUC [Royal Ulster Constabulary] murdered a lot of innocent people, and you’re selling for them?
‘No, I’m not accepting this! I don’t accept this. As a member of the Catholic community in this town.
‘Would I be able to sell … IRA badges?
‘This is not only for poppies for the last World War – this is for murderers of innocent people!’
She went on to scream: ‘security!’ as she waited next to the stall – and passers by told her to ‘get a life’.
As they left the store she shouted after them: ‘Murderers! Murderers! RUC murderers! That’s what they are.’
She claimed the stall was selling badges for the RUC and the British Army as well as poppies. The police service was established in 1922 and played a key role in maintaining British rule in the region.
As well as poppies, the table had remembrance crosses for specific regiments – including the SAS, Ulster Defence Regiment, Police Service of Northern Ireland and RUC
The force had additional military-type security duties, with officers frequently the target of the IRA.
The woman claimed the stall was selling badges for the RUC and the British Army as well as poppies
She went on to scream: ‘security!’ as she waited next to the stall – and passers by told her to ‘get a life’
Northern Ireland Assembly member Jonathan Buckley said he had reached out to the woman behind the stall – and warned that those selling poppies have been victim to ‘disrespect and hostility’ in the run up to this year’s remembrance events
The woman further demanded to know whether the seller had permission to sell the poppies from the Royal British Legion, saying she would contact them about what was being sold.
And when a staff member respectfully told her to leave, she said she would bring down a protest outside the store.
She told the store-worker: ‘This is annoying me as a customer! This is a disgrace.
‘I will set up a protest outside this store! It shouldn’t be in store. There will be a protest.’
She further demanded a list of foods within the store that originated from Israel – and asked if she would be allowed to sell the Easter Lily in the store.
A symbol of remembrance for the country’s patriot dead from the 1916 Easter Rising, it has also been used in memorials to IRA members who died in the Troubles.
During the war-torn era the town’s railway station was the most bombed in the country, with Catholics living predominantly in the north of the town and Protestants in the south.
Ulster Unionist Party leader Doug Beattie slammed the confrontation as ‘intolerance’.
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Images of the charitable trio surrounded by protesters prompted veterans minister Johnny Mercer to offer to ‘rattle a tin with them’ on Sunday
Northern Ireland Assembly member Jonathan Buckley said he had reached out to the woman behind the stall – and warned that those selling poppies have been victim to ‘disrespect and hostility’ in the run up to this year’s remembrance events.
He said: ‘Last night I reached out to the lady selling Poppies, and I commended her for being so dignified and for her courage in continuing to sell Poppies in the face of such vile bigotry.
‘Sadly this year more than ever, those raising vital funds for the Poppy Appeal have been met with disrespect and hostility.
‘Poppy sellers take time every year to graciously honour the dead and raise crucial funds for veterans, service personnel and their families.’
And retired PSNI officer Jon Burrows added: ‘I’ve just watched the video of a lovely lady who was running the Poppy Appeal stall in Tesco’s in Lurgan being abused for 5 minutes by a rude and bigoted person.
‘Absolutely horrendous that this volunteer was treated in this way. Credit to those who intervened.’
In a statement the PSNI said: ‘Police in Lurgan received a report of a verbal altercation at commercial premises in the Carnegie Street area on Tuesday 7th November.
‘Officers attended and spoke to a number of individuals about the matter, however, no statement of complaint was made and no further action was taken. Police remained in the area and continued to monitor the situation.
‘The matter is being treated as a hate incident.’
It comes just days after Pro-Palestinian activists’ surrounded British Legion poppy sellers at a train station.
Heartbreaking images showed dismayed poppy sellers shamelessly surrounded by chanting pro-Palestine activists in Charing Cross station, prompting condemnation from veterans minister Johnny Mercer, who offered to ‘rattle a tin’ with the charitable trio.
Do you know either woman in this video? Contact: Dan.Grennan@mailonline.co.uk