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Belfast man claims discrimination in poppy row

A man that was denied entry to a pub in Belfast for wearing a poppy has claimed to have been discriminated against.

Ted Cooke is suing the ex-owners of the Northern Whig bar after he was turned away last November, according to the Belfast Telegraph.

The ex-police officer was with his wife and daughter at the time of the incident, which has split opinion across political and religious divides in the Northern Irish capital.

Botanic Inns, which ran a chain of pubs that included the Northern Whig, has gone into administration since the incident, but Mr Cooke wants to highlight inequalities in Belfast and is backed by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.

The former police officer contends the poppy is seen as a protestant symbol in the city and this was the reason he was barred from entering the premises. 

Judgement in the case has been reserved and a verdict will be handed down shortly.

By Francesca Witney