MCD Feels It Did Enough

Irish promoter Denis Desmond’s MCD said it has genuinely done enough to compensate a young couple that was subject to a rather embarrassing security incident, and accepts that it’s going to have to face the issue in court.

Senior civil servant Shane McCarrick and his fiancé originally complained because they were stopped at the entrance to MCD’s June 2005 R.E.M. show at Balbriggan.

They say security staff emptied McCarrick’s bag of drinks and medication on the ground and told them they would be arrested for drug dealing.

McCarrick, an executive officer in the Department of Agriculture, suffers from Crohn’s disease, a condition that requires him to take steroid tablets at three-hour intervals.

His fiancé has Type 1 diabetes and requires regular injections of insulin and carbohydrates in the form of fruit drinks.

All the medicines in the bag were either dietary supplements or covered by prescription.

McCarrick said the security staff ignored the couple’s civil service identification cards and doctors’ letters that explained their need for medication, according to The Sunday Times.

Although the security staff can clearly claim it followed Gardai (police) standing instructions to the letter, MCD was keen to make up for what appears to be some rather over-zealous practice. MCD arranged for the couple to attend a Coldplay concert as compensation for the inconvenience.

McCarrick said security staff at the Coldplay concert in Marlay Park also asked them to wait in a medical tent to meet with an event controller.

They complained about being delayed again but, after MCD rep Vivienne Kearney had explained the reasons for the procedure, it was accepted and they went off to enjoy the show.

Later, Kearney called McCarrick to make sure they had a good time and he confirmed that they had.

MCD offered the couple a further six pairs of tickets to any show of their choosing, which they seemed happy to accept.

Now Desmond’s company is surprised to see McCarrick take the matter to the Equality Tribunal, complaining that treating them like drug dealers was discriminating against people with serious medical conditions.

McCarrick said he no longer wants compensation but an admission that the Irish promoting company mistreated him. MCD said it has put the matter with its lawyers.

The Sunday Times article, which annoyed MCD because the company said it wasn’t given adequate chance to respond, had Anna Clarke of the Diabetes Federation of Ireland saying there’s widespread discrimination against diabetics and people with serious medical conditions.

The paper said McCarrick decided to bring his case to the Equality Tribunal after being refused permission to talk about it on, an Internet forum.

The Web site has reportedly banned all discussion of MCD events after the company sued it for hosting an alleged defamatory comment about security at the Oxegen festival in July.

– John Gammon