Mother hits back after being told to leave cinema

A BREASTFEEDING mother who said she was told to leave the cinema with her seven-month old baby has spoken of her disgust after the incident.

The 33-year-old mum-of-eight said she could not believe it when, after buying a ticket for a showing at the Quays cinema in Newry last Thursday evening, she was told she would have to leave just 15 minutes into the film.

The woman, who lives just outside Rathfriland and was on an evening out with her sister from Banbridge and other family members as well as the baby boy, described the experience as “humiliating”.

She maintains she had informed staff she had a young baby with her because she was breastfeeding and they said that was fine - she also clarified that she was not breastfeeding at the time of the incident.

Just as the film began she said a man came over to her and asked her to step outside. There another two staff members explained that she would have to leave the screening.

“I’ve been there with my son before and everything was fine,” said the woman, who did not wish to be named. “I am a breastfeeding mum, which means I take my child with me when I go somewhere. But I now feel humiliated, having to get up and walk out of the cinema in front of everyone. I was made to feel as if I had done something wrong.”

The cinema released a statement saying the issue was not about breastfeeding, but rather the classification of the film.

“In light of a recent incident at Newry Omniplex, we would firstly like to apologise for any offence caused to any of our patrons directly or indirectly,” said a spokesperson.

“We strive to ensure that customer expectations are met and exceeded and unfortunately it was not the case on this occasion.

“On this occasion and contrary to reports our patron was not asked to leave a screening due to the breastfeeding of a child, rather this was related to the classification of the film in question. The patron was also offered to attend another showing and a refund of her tickets purchased.”