Republic of Ireland news

Co Louth journalist apologises after being ejected from Irish embassy party for heckling the Ambassador's speech

Daily Mail journalist Joanna Bell (left) with Kim Kardashian. Picture by Joanna Bell/Twitter

A CO Louth journalist ejected from an Irish embassy party in London for heckling the Ambassador's speech has apologised for the "excessive robustness" of her actions.

Joanna Bell, a Daily Mail reporter originally from near Dundalk, was escorted from the room at the event after voicing her criticism of Irish Ambassador Adrian O'Neill's suggestion of a possible second Brexit referendum.

Ms Bell reportedly shouted: "Bor-ing" during the address by Mr O'Neill as he spoke about the risks to the Northern Ireland peace process from Brexit and the potential for a hard border affecting border communities.

She also shouted "Brexit" during the speech at the embassy near Westminster.

Ms Bell told The Irish Times: "Obviously, I profoundly regret the excessive robustness and perhaps lack of finesse with which I expressed my disagreement with the ambassador".

"I had, I confess, enjoyed a good lunch with an eccentric aristocrat who is a staunch Brexiteer."

Among those attending the event was British chancellor Philip Hammond, Northern Ireland secretary of state Karen Bradley and former UK defence secretary Michael Fallon.

Ms Bell, who describes herself as "a staunch Brexiteer" said her "unfortunate ejection from the embassy" followed a response to the suggestion by the Ambassador "that a second Brexit referendum should take place".

"A second referendum would have the highly unfortunate consequences for this polarised and still combustible island," she said.

"It's not that mandates should never be withdrawn or a referendum reconsidered.

"If, however, a democratic outcome is to be re-considered, it must first be respected.

"What could be more damaging than a second referendum if Remain wins as narrowly as it lost the first? We would find ourselves in a precarious state."

But witnesses at the event told of how Mr O'Neill had never said that the British "should" hold a second referendum, but rather had made a humorous remark about its future options.

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