Wednesday 18 October 2017

'Q***r not impressed' - Dublin t-shirt company launches investigation after offensive slur sent to customer

Dubliner Adam Shanley and the email he received. Photo: Twitter/@adlers1
Dubliner Adam Shanley and the email he received. Photo: Twitter/@adlers1
Jason Kennedy

Jason Kennedy

A Dublin-based t-shirt company has launched an internal investigation after a customer shared an offensive email accidentally sent to him by an employee calling him a "q***r".

A spokesperson for the T-Shirt Company, located in North Strand, said they are shocked and appalled after the former customer shared a screengrab of the offensive email on Twitter this afternoon.

Dublin man Adam Shanley complained to the company this time last year after his order was not processed on time. In response, an employee from the company accidentally sent an email to him reading: "q***r not impressed. he's leaving on half 12 train".

Mr Shanley, who is the Director of LGBT helpline Gay Switchboard, only noticed the offensive email after going back though old messages.

"Last year I was having t-shirts printed for a fundraiser. I used @TheTshirtCo - what I missed was his slur when I complained about delay," he wrote on his Twitter account.

"He forwarded a thread he had with a colleague.

"Facing into the weekend - If you're wondering why we still need Pride - here's an example. It may only be a little word but it has impact. I'll be taking my business elsewhere today and I'll walk the streets of Dublin proudly this weekend with my fellow LGBT+ friends and allies."

In response, a spokesperson apologised for the message and said they are talking the email very seriously.

"We are investigating this right now and are taking swift and serious action. We're heartbroken at the offence caused," they wrote on Twitter.

"Sincerely sorry about the offence this has caused you."

Speaking to Independent.ie, Company Director Vinny Byrne expressed his disgust at the situation and added the employee who sent the email has been suspended immediately without pay.

"I want everyone to know that we don't stand for this. When I found out what happened, I rang Adam straight away to send my apologies."

Mr Shanley added that the person who wrote the email has been directly in touch with him to apologise, which the Tallaght man has accepted.

"I told him while I appreciate and accept his apology, I stand by highlighting this issue and won't take it down as a matter of principle," he told Independent.ie.

"I'm by no means on a witch hunt to have anyone lose their job but in a time when some businesses are bandwagoning on Pride celebrations it's important for the community to call out those who are happy to take our cash while being involved in homophobia, whether it be blatant or covert."

Readers affected by homophobia can contact the Gay Switchboard on 01 872 1055.

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