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Shop sent hate mail over Yes to same-sex marriage poster

There are now plans to put even more posters up.

AN INDEPENDENT IRISH grocery store received threatening hate mail over a Yes poster it put up in its window.

Country Choice in Nenagh, Co Tipperary, which is owned by Peter and Mary Ward, has been running for over 33 years.

Recently a Yes poster was put in its window to show support for the upcoming same-sex marriage referendum.

Though the store had been advised to remove the poster by a few customers, the owners refused.

This morning, they received this letter:

country choice

Peter Ward said that the letter was accompanied by a number of newspaper cuttings about same-sex marriage and homosexuality.

“It’s like someone put a huge amount of work into this,” he said of the package, which was posted to the store. On the back of the letter was a “very offensive piece” about gay relationships, he said.

“When I opened it, I must say it was very surprising,” said Ward of the letter. “It wasn’t threatening and I didn’t feel threatened.”

“Country Choice is an independent business owned by independent-minded people,” said Ward, who intends on putting up more posters.

“I wouldn’t think that many of my neighbours would be surprised to see a Yes poster up in Country Choice,” he added.

We would have progressive thought in the business forever. We’re the sort of business that would have had readings and poetry readings and different views very openly expressed over the years. We’re expressive people and this is very much part of life.

He said they believe same-sex marriage is not a political issue, and that if passed, the move would improve the lives of many of their friends and Country Choice customers.

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Though he described it as containing “surprising venom”, he will not be contacting the gardaí about the letter as he feels “they probably have enough to do to protect our streets”.

He added that he believes if something does happen, the town’s new camera system will capture it.

It’s not enough for me to take down a poster. We’re strong minded.

But he added:

“I really hope that [the sender] is not someone I know. And I hope it’s not someone I spend time socialising with or spending time having a cup of tea with. I suspect it’s not.”

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