- 29 Mar 18
The cafe, which is known for its contrarian posts, responded to today's protests against the outcome of the Paddy Jackson trial in Belfast by musing whether an "#IBelieveInSanta" protest should take place.
Their post, which went up on Facebook and Twitter, reads: "I'm holding an #Ibelieveinsanta rally in O'Connell Street. Please join me and scream 'I believe in Santa' very loudly. I know very little about him and have seen little evidence about his existence, but i still believe in him because.....well....just because.....okay???"
This is not the first time that the cafe has stirred up controversy. Back in January, White Moose hit out at a social media vlogger who asked for a free night at their hotel in exchange for YouTube videos and dedicated Instagram stories. This led to a much-publicised back and forth between the vlogger, Elle Darby, and the owners of the cafe.
But while social media spats might be one thing, flippant comments about a very serious rape trail are clearly another. The post received heavy condemnation, with figures such as director Lenny Abrahamson and former Miss Ireland Holly Carpenter calling them out.
The White Moose cafe have reached a new level of low pic.twitter.com/n7I20Z5SrD
— aaron (@donafella) March 29, 2018
Should have known it would only be a matter of time until the white moose cafe lads decided to make a joke out of the case.
Always so quick to get themselves at the centre of any controversy or scandal with the sole aim of publicity.
And they call themselves "business men." Lol.
— I Believe Her (@IBelieveHer1) March 29, 2018
— lenny abrahamson (@lennyabrahamson) March 29, 2018
— HollyCarpenter (@Holly0910) March 29, 2018
White Moose Cafe eventually took their original posts down, leaving this statement:
I never delete anything from this page, and I never will. Jason deleted every post that I posted this afternoon following threats that he, and other members of the team, were receiving. I would never let people bully me into submission or restrict my right to free speech, but if it involves other staff members then I guess it’s a different story.
Again, to reiterate, the purpose of my original post this afternoon was in no way to belittle the severity of the recent case or to make fun of rape victims, but to highlight that the human race is essentially a group of gullible sheep with herd mentality (which I still believe is true). I saw hundreds of people protesting on O’Connell Street today with placards showing the words ‘Ibelieveher’ on them. I believe that this is wrong. It is wrong to make statements like this when none of us were in the courtroom and none of us have sufficient evidence available to us to be able to make these claims. It is both wrong and dangerous to come to conclusions like this based on emotion rather than on fact.
If what I said was offensive to rape victims, it was not intended and I apologize if this is how you interpreted it. The number for the Rape Crisis centre, for anyone affected, is 1800 77 8888.