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Restaurant to make donation to Women's Aid shelter following domestic violence chalkboard sign

A chalkboard sign outside a Belfast restaurant which read: `Ya can beat the wife, but ya can't beat a 5 pound lunch' has been criticised
Marie Louise McConville

A BELFAST restaurant is to make a donation to a Women's Aid shelter after it displayed a chalkboard sign outside its premises which appeared to trivialise domestic violence.

The eatery, Ribs `n' Bibs yesterday faced a torrent of criticism after a photo of the sign was uploaded on social media.

The sign, which had been written by a member of staff, read: `Ya can beat the wife, but ya can't beat a 5 pound lunch'.

Malachy Toner, who owns the restaurant on Botanic Avenue, said he disagreed "outright" with the sign and said it had appeared outside the eatery when he was off sick.

Speaking on Radio Ulster he said: "This was a chalkboard sign, which was made up on the spur of the moment and he (the employee) thought it was witty, it was satire," he said.

"The implications for me, as a business person in the restaurant, have been horrendous. We've had 1,500 hits on Facebook saying about wife beating, we've lost Christmas bookings, there's guys who do karaoke for us, they are all pulling away from it.

"I can only say I condemn outright what was written on the board".

"We as a team in the restaurant are quite prepared to run a night and have the proceeds go to a shelter for domestic violence. The whole wages will go over, everything that's involved and we'll give that to a shelter of your choice".

Cara Cash, Chief Executive of Nexus - which offers counselling and support to survivors of sexual abuse - described the wording on the sign as "unforgivable and abhorrent".

"Being beaten by your husband, losing your life, losing your children, is not funny," she said.

"I'm sure a refuge would welcome a donation but what's more important is the attitudes of the people."

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