‘Innocent’ UK visitors impressed with garda response after abuse

August 6th, 2020 11:45 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Rachel, originally from Dublin, and her husband Ben, were very happy with the response they got from the gardaí.

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A SKIBEREEN garda has been praised by a family on holidays  from the UK – who self-quarantined for two weeks – but were verbally abused by a man in a supermarket car park.

Rachel Thompson – who is originally from Dublin – said ¸ of Skibbereen Garda Station was ‘amazing’ following the nasty incident in a town centre car park on Saturday July  18th.

Speaking to The Southern Star, Rachel said that she and her family – husband Ben and three teenage boys – had been innocent of any wrongdoing, and had been quarantining for two weeks at a house outside Castletownshend.

‘My dad lives here half the year so we arrived over on Saturday July 4th and spent two weeks in a house outside Castletownshend and then we moved into our regular house rental on July 18th,’ said Rachel. ‘On our first day out of quarantine we hit Skibbereen as we were running low on provisions and we actually went in early as we weren’t sure how busy it was.’

Rachel said Ben was sitting in their English-reg car reading the paper while she went to the chemist, when a man – who is understood not to be local – came over to the front bonnet and shouted in full voice at him to go back to England and take the virus with him.

‘When I got back to the car Ben was shaking and I was absolutely gobsmacked that it happened and almost didn’t believe him. Luckily, the kids weren’t there and Ben got the reg of the car and we then reported it to the gardaí.

Rachel said that after Ben made the complaint at the station, Gda O’Flynn came out to the car to check on her, which she didn’t expect.

‘She was so kind and she was amazing to check on me too. She then checked the reg and located the man the following day and told him he shouldn’t assume that people in a foreign reg car are just off the boat. He ended up writing a letter of apology which Gda O’Flynn then delivered to us in Castletownshend.’

Rachel said the perhaps the man ‘snapped’ out of fear over recent media coverage about tourists not self-quarantining and said that everyone is not like that in West Cork.

‘We love it here in West Cork and in Castletownshend, and we got a lovely reception from people as they knew we had been quarantining. We look forward to enjoying the rest of our holidays.’

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