• Indigenous mourners have claimed about their treatment after they were denied entry to the Bidwell Hotel in the Sydney suburb Mount Druitt. (Facebook)Source: Facebook
A former NRL star posted footage of the incident to social media.
By
Brooke Fryer

Source:
NITV News
28 Feb 2019 - 4:10 PM  UPDATED 1 Mar 2019 - 10:46 AM

A group of Indigenous mourners have complained that they were discriminated against after they were denied entry to a pub in Sydney and dispersed by a riot squad and police dogs.

Dozens of people arrived at Mount Druitt's Bidwell Hotel on February 22 after attending a funeral at a nearby Catholic church.

Former South Sydney Rabbitohs player Nathan Merritt, who was among the grieving party, posted a video of the incident on social media.

“It was a family get together to mourn the loss,” he told NITV.

The footage, which has attracted more than 180,000 views on Facebook, also showed a duty-manager allowing two white patrons to enter as the Indigenous mourners stand by.

Mr Merritt’s cousin, Greg Davison, said the family were saddened by the incident.

“It was really heartbreaking,” he said. “We felt really disrespected.”

The publican, Martin Secheny, claimed the hotel had decided not to host wakes after violence recently broke out among a separate group of mourners.

“Unfortunately, a decision had to be made by management not to host functions of a similar nature until such time as the number of incidents attributed to the venue decreases,” he said.

Mr Secheny also said the group was informed of the situation before they arrived.

“Upon arrival, they were again advised wakes could not be held at the hotel for the time being and also that we could not breach our licensing conditions by holding a function without the legally required number of security,” he said.

NSW Police confirmed they were called to the premises after reports that up to 100 people were denied entry and refused to leave.

“Officers from Mount Druitt Police Area Command, assisted by the Public Order and Riot Squad, and the Dog Unit, responded and dispersed the crowd without incident," a spokesperson said.