The Londonderry shop worker who posted comments mocking a customer with psoriasis on social media this week has now issued an apology.
The Facebook comments made about mother-of-two Ciara Moore, who suffers from the skin condition, ignited a social media storm.
Today, in a statement, published in the Derry Journal, the shop worker named as ‘Lesley-Anne’ said: “In light of recent events regarding the reproduction and widespread dissemination of a comment contained on my social network page and the subsequent personal and public humiliation suffered as a result; I take this opportunity to express my sincerest apologies to Ciara and the Moore family for the undue distress caused by the post and the ensuing events of these past few days.
“While there is no justification for what Ciara or her family have had to endure, at no time was there a conscious, concerted attempt by myself or another party to single out, humiliate or cause offence to Ciara, Ciara’s family or psoriasis sufferers, by disparaging the significance of having to live daily with such a condition.
“I profoundly regret the injury caused and reiterate my heartfelt apology.
“I appreciate, that my lapse in professional judgment may have resulted in undermining the credibility and reputation of my co-workers and employer alike, I therefore; take this opportunity also to clarify my comment was made in a personal capacity and in no way expresses the views of my colleagues or should be perceived as reflecting the official position of the company.
“The burden of responsibility with regard to the comment is mine and mine alone.
“Again, I unreservedly extend my apologies and sincerely hope that this goes someway to providing some consolation for the inadvertent distress incurred.”
Lesley-Anne also offered to meet with Ciara to apologise in person.
Earlier Ciara, told how she had been left “dumbstruck” when she was made aware of a Facebook conversation between three staff members at Quiz Clothing in Londonderry city centre - where they joked about her skin condition, discussing how it made them want to be sick.
“I had gone into the shop about two weeks ago to buy an outfit for a wedding. It’s the shop I always go to when I have an occasion to go to and I have never had a problem before,” Ciara explained.
“I had just got out of hospital a few days before following a major flare up of my psoriasis and was feeling relatively good about myself.
“My condition means that at times my skin flakes, scales or leaves a light dusting. Because I had been in hospital for a fortnight and had treatment, I was just starting to flare again.
“Yes, there was a light dusting of skin. I don’t ever see that as someone else’s job to clean up, so I explained it to the girl at the till and offered to clean it up. She told me not to worry about it, and I thought nothing more about it.”
Quiz have confirmed it is holding an internal investigation into the matter.