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daintree paper

Man who says the internet "shut down his business" after cake-topper row calls for No vote

Paul Barnes owned Daintree Paper until shortly after a controversy over cake-toppers.

Mothers and Fathers Matter / YouTube

THE FORMER OWNER of Daintree Paper, who caused controversy two years ago by refusing to allow a same-sex cake-topper be displayed in his shop, has called for a No vote in the upcoming referendum.

Paul Barnes owned the paper shop in Dublin city until shortly after the controversy. New owners took over the store in March last year and are firmly in the Yes camp.

In a video for No campaign group Mothers and Fathers Matter, Barnes explains that he “didn’t foresee what was going to happen” when he allowed different wedding craftspeople display in the store.

He says that his refusal to allow the cake toppers be displayed, which attracted huge interest in September 2013, “wasn’t really a story” until it hit the internet.

He said that he was “bullied” by a number of people who called him homophobic.

I’m not homophobic, I had gay people working in the shop. It’s just something that I personally didn’t want.

“Very quickly, there was a huge downturn in business and, shortly after, I had to close the shop.”

He says that he and his customers were “bullied” and his family were “very hurt” by the comments, something that “we have to be careful of when voting” on 22 May.

What happened with me could happen to any business.
It’s something that you don’t think is going to happen to you, but it could happen to anyone.

He said that his business was closed down “because his opinion was different” and warns that “there is more of this to come” if the referendum is passed.

Read: A Dublin stationery shop is making confetti out of homophobic leaflets

Read: The Iona Institute have launched a new animated video to voice their ‘No’ arguments

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