DUBLIN, Ireland: Tesco, like any Irish shopkeeper, has the right to refuse service to any customer, according to barrister Conor Kearney in the Circuit Civil Court.
He stated this during a trial where a mother and daughter, Leanne Caffrey and Danielle Caffrey, were seeking up to Euro150,000 in damages for defamation of character against Tesco.
Kearney, representing the supermarket chain, argued that Tesco had the legal right to withdraw its invitation, allowing the Caffreys to shop in their store. The Caffreys claimed they had been defamed by a manager at Tesco's Donore Retail Centre in Drogheda, a town 35 miles north of Dublin when he approached them about an alleged incident in the store.
The manager had informed them that they were required to leave the store due to allegations of mistreating a staff member, an incident the Caffreys denied involvement in. In fact, Leanne Caffrey was not even in County Louth on the day of the alleged incident.
During the trial, it was revealed that Leanne Caffrey had continued shopping and paid for her goods on the occasion when the manager spoke to her. There were no accusations of theft or non-payment of goods.
Danielle Caffrey denied that she had acted aggressively or filmed staff on her phone during the previous incident, stating that she had merely engaged in a conversation with the staff member.
The former manager of Tesco's Donore Store explained that he had revoked their invitation to shop in the store after reviewing CCTV footage of a prior incident that he said involved Danielle. A member of Tesco's security staff had reported the incident.
In her ruling, Judge Jennifer O'Brien favored the testimony of the Tesco manager regarding the events at the Donore shop on June 21, 2018. She found that there was no damage to the reputation of either woman. She dismissed both claims for damages with no order for costs against the Caffreys.