Lidl says online Limerick allegation is ‘widely inaccurate’

Jennifer Purcell

Reporter:

Jennifer Purcell

The Lidl store on the Ennis Road in Limerick. Picture: Google Maps
LIDL has strongly defended itself against claims that an employee threw a bucket of water over a homeless man.

LIDL has strongly defended itself against claims that an employee threw a bucket of water over a homeless man.

The supermarket chain said it was “extremely concerned” by an allegation involving one of its employees and a member of the public at its Ennis Road store. The incident came to light on Tuesday after a man posted a message online outlining the details of the incident, which he claimed he had witnessed.

However, in a strong statement, Lidl said it had launched a full investigation to establish the full facts of the incident.

“Our investigation has identified significant discrepancies from the allegations posted,” it said. “An individual was begging outside our Caherdavin store. A number of customers complained to store management who politely asked the individual to move from outside the store on a number of occasions. Complimentary food from our bakery was provided by the Store Manager to the individual.

“Eventually the individual left from the front of the store. Our investigation concluded that at no point was water thrown on the individual concerned.

“The version of events circulating on social media are widely inaccurate and hugely damaging. Lidl have appealed for any witnesses to the alleged event to come forward with information, to date no one has done so.”

In his post the man said he was going into the store in when his attention was drawn to a man who was sheltering from the rain.

“There was a homeless man, late 50s, sitting round the corner from the door sheltering from the heavy rain doing no harm to nobody,” he wrote. “The manager came out and asked him to leave. He said he would when rain would stop. Then a worker comes back with a black bucket, full of water from the fresh flowers and throws it at him! Poor man shuffles off into the rain soaked!”

On reading his post, people outraged by the alleged incident began engaging in conversations online, with many calling for Lidl to take action.

On Wednesday morning, a spokesperson for Lidl Ireland began responding to comments - which were also left on the company’s Facebook page - assuring the public that it was “taking these allegations very seriously”.

“If you have any information on this we would ask you to contact us so we can investigate this further,” the spokesperson told one Facebook user.

In response to another concerned member of the public, they said: “We are very concerned to hear this. The customer hasn’t got in touch with us directly yet but we are anxious to get in touch with him to look into this situation.”