Man told he 'must be a drug dealer' wins €25k payout
A man who was told "you must be a f**king drug dealer" by a shop manager has been awarded €25,000 damages for defamation.
Judge Terence O'Sullivan was told yesterday in the Circuit Civil Court that James Mangan (31), who is on disability allowance because of a severe health issue, had been defamed by John Hanley, a director of Eurospar Lucan, in the store on October 31, 2014.
Barrister Sharbee Morrin, for Mr Mangan, said that no one on behalf of Eurospar Lucan, of Ballyowen Castle Shopping Centre, Castle Road, Lucan, had turned up in court.
Mr Morrin said that on October 29 Mr Mangan had gone to the Penny Hill store of Eurospar Lucan to wire €2,500 out of the country for a snooker tour- nament but later discovered the money had not gone through.
He returned two days later and was making inquiries about it when Hanley appeared and said: "This is not our f**king problem, why the f**k are we dealing with this?"
Mr Mangan had then allegedly been told by Hanley: "It is very peculiar you are from Dublin 1 and you are coming out here to send money. Must be a f**king drug dealer."
In evidence, Mr Mangan, of Cedarbrook, Ballyfermot, Dublin, claimed Hanley's remarks had been made in front of staff and 15 other people.
"I felt horrible," Mr Mangan told the court.
He said he had got his €2,500 back, minus a fee of €40.
Mr Morrin explained to the court that Eurospar Lucan had entered a defence but it had been struck out earlier by the County Registrar when the company had failed to comply with an order to make discovery of a cctv recording.
"I think it would be fair to say that the inference reasonably to be drawn from such a statement is that the person was involved in illegality," Judge O'Sullivan said.
The judge said Mr Mangan was entitled to €25,000 damages and his costs.