Staff at a Derry hotel are to receive training following an apparent sectarian outburst by a senior director.
The four star White Horse Hotel said the actions of it’s Director of Finance, Ramona Wylie, captured on the two minute video were completely out of character, while confirming an investigation is under way.
White Horse Managing Director, Issam Horshi, said: “We are already taking steps to ensure that an incident such as last Sunday’s never occurs again. We are extremely proud of our staff, who reflect our wider community in all its cultural diversity. Nevertheless, we are now preparing to introduce awareness training for staff members to ensure that they are aware of their responsibilities in a diverse community like ours. They will also be reminded of their responsibilities to the hotel and to the wider hospitality industry in this region.”
The hotel have said that although the incident occurred while their employee was off duty, “we take the matter extremely seriously,” adding: “The employee’s behaviour on this occasion shocked and disappointed us. It was unacceptable and cannot be condoned.
“The woman concerned is, herself, deeply remorseful and has apologised for her behaviour personally – and directly – to those affected. We are grateful that this apology has been accepted. Nevertheless, the staff member has been suspended pending a fuller investigation.”
Mr Horshi said he himself has known Ms. Wylie for 30 years, “during which time she has been an extremely valued member of our team”.
“She has always treated our guests and patrons with the utmost courtesy and professionalism, so I am shocked and disappointed by what happened last Sunday. Although the incident happened while the woman was off duty, her behaviour was still completely unacceptable. However, I am satisfied that it was also totally out of character. I have spoken to her about the matter; she has expressed deep and genuine remorse and she is in no doubt as to how I feel.”
Janice Gault, Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Hotels Federation, meanwhile, confirmed they were “aware of an incident which took place involving a board member”.
“Ms Wylie tendered her resignation to the Federation on Sunday, October 11 and this has been accepted. The board member has apologised for her behaviour personally and directly to those affected and we understand this apology has been accepted.”
Ms. Gault added: “We do not condone sectarian behaviour of any kind. It goes against the ethos of the entire organisation.”