Woman’s €75,000 claim over defamation and imprisonment in toy shop thrown out

Rachel Kenny, from Rathdrum, claimed upset and humiliation after being asked to show receipt as she left store with basket of unbagged goods

A €75,000 claim by a woman, who claimed she was defamed and imprisoned in a Dublin toy store after buying a basket full of Christmas presents for her children, has been thrown out in the Circuit Civil Court.

Judge John O’Connor told barrister E.J. Walsh, defence counsel for Smyths Toys, that he accepted Rachel Kenny’s perception of what had happened in the company’s Carrickmines store differed from what actually took place and did not constitute defamation or unlawful imprisonment.

Ms Walsh, who appeared with Kennedys Law Solicitors for Smyths and RFC Security, Swords, Co Dublin, said in a full defence of Ms Kenny’s claims that the defendants accepted she had paid for toys in the store and had valid receipts for them.

The court heard there were unusual circumstances in that Ms Kenny’s purchases were not bagged and were being wheeled toward the entrance in a store basket when security asked her for the receipts.


Both defendants denied that Ms Kenny, of Corballis Domaine, Rathdrum, Co Wicklow, was stopped by a security guard asking loudly ‘did you pay for that?’ and ‘do you have a receipt’.

Judge O’Connor heard that a RFC Security worker discreetly asked if they could see Ms Kenny’s receipt, which was presented and reviewed by a manager. No apology was offered on the grounds that no defamation or false imprisonment had taken place.

Ms Kenny said that on November 18th, 2021, she bought the toys at Smyths in Carrickmines as Christmas presents for her children. She claimed she suffered upset, distress and humiliation because of the incident, particularly because she knew some of the customers in the store.

Judge O’Connor struck out Ms Kenny’s claim but made no order for legal costs against her. He said her view of what had occurred differed from what had actually happened and was not defamation.