Belfast gift shop responds to negative feedback regarding sale of ‘petrol bomb' candles

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The owner of a Belfast-based souvenir store has apologised for any offence caused due to the sale of ‘petrol bomb’ candles at their business, but said the item will remain stocked.

The Norn Irish Gift Shop, which opened in Fountain Street in the city centre last month, stocks hundreds of items crafted by local artists from across Northern Ireland.

Alongside mugs, paintings, clothing and Titanic-themed gifts, the store has drawn attention on social media over recent days due to the sale of ‘petrol bomb’ shaped candles.

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Posting on X on May 13 about the candles, one user said: “I love the Northern Irish dark sense of humour, but this feels a tad insensitive.”

'Petrol bomb' candles on sale at the Norn Irish Gift Shop on May 14. (Pic: NI World).'Petrol bomb' candles on sale at the Norn Irish Gift Shop on May 14. (Pic: NI World).
'Petrol bomb' candles on sale at the Norn Irish Gift Shop on May 14. (Pic: NI World).
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On the same thread, SDLP Belfast City Council representative for Lisnasharragh, Councillor Séamas de Faoite stated: “Spotted these last week and immediately left the shop.”

Speaking to Northern Ireland World, the shop’s owner Fiona Lane explained: “The petrol bomb candles are not for everyone’s taste. We’re not a shop filled with petrol bomb candles. We have hundreds of items on sale, made by local people and we’re proud to be showcasing local products.

"There is something for everyone in the shop. If customers don’t like the candles, there are plenty of other items on sale. They are just one of the many items that we sell.

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"The Troubles are a key part of our recent history. A lot of bad things happened during those years and a lot of people were hurt and lost loved ones. I’m sorry for anyone who has been offended by the petrol bomb candles in the shop.

"I’m glad those days are behind us. They weren’t meant to cause any offence. As a country, we’ve always had a good sense of humour and it’s got us through some dark days. This was meant to be light-hearted and I see it that way.

"I don’t think they are something that we’re going to take off sale. I’d be going against my own feelings in that it was meant to be light-hearted. We’ve sold them at the continental market and we continue to also trade out of St George’s Market.

"We’re certainly not trying to offend anyone and it’s not nice to hear that some people have been offended.”