Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the head of Tesco Ireland to immediately reinstate collection points for a charity which campaigns for the rights of children diagnosed with severe life limiting conditions. Deputy McGrath was speaking after Tesco Ireland removed one of its Blue Chip Community Fund collection points following a single complaint from a customer who objected to the Charity advertising for support. On foot of the complaint Tesco Ireland committed to blocking the charity from all of its stores in the Republic of Ireland:
“This is a disgraceful and completely partisan decision by Tesco which needs to be reversed without delay.
Part of the rationale given by Tesco was that the store strives to be ‘apolitical’ and neutral’ with respect to the charities that it permits to use the Blue Chip service.
Yet this claim cannot withstand even a moment’s honest scrutiny.
In January Tesco joined the global coalition, Open for Business, which supports the push for LGBT rights. Is this ‘apolitical’ or ‘neutral’?
No one is saying that Tesco do not have the right to pursue this option with respect to LGBT rights, but it does speak volumes about the disingenuous reasoning behind the decision to ban Every Life Counts.
Tens of thousands of customers use Tesco every day.
I would suggest that the vast majority of that customer group would have no difficulty in allowing the charity look for support within Tesco stores, particularly when one remembers that it campaign’s for perinatal hospice care and bereavement support for families of very young children who have died.
Tesco Ireland have made a huge blunder here and the sooner they reverse it and admit they were wrong the better things will be for them in terms of restoring some credibility to its family friendly image,” concluded Deputy McGrath.