Thursday 26 April 2018

Air Corps sergeant sued shop after being kicked out

Ray Managh

AN Air Corps sergeant with a passion for robotic warfare was stunned when staff at a computer store ordered him to leave the shop, a judge heard yesterday.

Sgt Ciaran Byrne sued the PC World store for defamation -- but settled his claim after the owner of the store admitted in court that he was a man of integrity and honesty.

Barrister Kevin D'Arcy told Judge Joseph Mathews in the Circuit Civil Court that Sgt Byrne spent any disposable money he had on his fascination with computer-robot wars.

He would call almost daily into PC World, Currys or Dixons, all of which were owned by Dsg Retail Ireland Limited, Park West Industrial Estate, Naas Road, Dublin.

Mr D'Arcy said that on February 27, 2006, Sgt Byrne was in full Irish Air Corps uniform in PC World in Liffey Valley Shopping Centre when security personnel asked him to "leave the shop now".

Sgt Byrne, who sued Dsg Retail Ireland Limited for €38,000 damages for defamation of character, at first thought it was a joke but left after 10 minutes.

Mr D'Arcy said a special relationship had built up between Sgt Byrne and staff at PC World. He had carried out work on the shop's alarm system. As a result, he was allowed discounts on certain products.

Martin Dully, counsel for Dsg Retail, said some PC World staff had later been dismissed for gross misconduct.

On one occasion, Sgt Byrne had bought a €444 graphics card by paying the sum of just €2.01.

It was on foot of this that Sgt Byrne, of Oakcourt Avenue, Palmerstown, Dublin, had been excluded from the premises.

But on other occasions, Sgt Byrne had been given 100pc discount on items of relatively little value.

"The people who have admitted dishonesty do not include Sgt Byrne," Mr Dully said. "He would be welcome back in the company's stores as a customer."

Judge Mathews said he felt there should be talks between the parties.

Later, Mr Dully said the parties had resolved their difficulties and Dsg Retail Ireland Ltd was prepared to endorse the judge's remarks that Sgt Byrne was a man of integrity and honesty.

The matter was struck out with no further order.

Irish Independent

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