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McDonald’s to launch investigation into workplace bullying targeted at rape victim
Coleman Legal LLP
Jul 24, 2023

McDonald’s UK and Ireland CEO Alistair Macrow has confirmed that the organisation will launch an investigation into claims that a former employee, Ciara Mangan (28), was the victim of “rape songs” and “rape comments” while at work.

The alleged incidents occurred after Ms Mangan was raped by one of her colleagues, Shane Noonan (28), at a party in Co Mayo in 2013.

Last Monday, Mr Noonan was sentenced to 8 years in jail after pleading guilty to the rape of Ms Mangan, who was 18 years old at the time.

Ms Mangan believes she was spiked when she was handed an open can of cider on her arrival at the party, at which some of her McDonald’s colleagues were in attendance. Noonan approached Ms Mangan when she began to feel unwell and brought her to a bathroom upstairs where the rape took place.

Ms Mangan recalled feeling lucky to have survived as she was left alone on the bathroom floor to choke on her own vomit following the attack. Ms Mangan was then subjected to 10 months of “rape comments” and “rape songs” by her co-workers.

Ms Mangan described the distress she endured as a result of these taunts at a hearing in front of Ms Justice Eileen Creedon, stating it left her feeling confused, embarrassed and disregarded. This bullying contributed to Ms Mangan’s delay in reporting the crime as she feared she wouldn’t be believed after her colleagues made a joke out of her attack.

In court, Ms Mangan described a specific incident which occurred after she “brushed up against” Noonan in the kitchen, leading a co-worker to comment: “Jeez be careful of Ciara, Shane. You already raped her. You wouldn’t want to do it again.”

Ms Mangan criticised the complete lack of guidance or support in relation to sexual harassment or bullying in the workplace, emphasising the responsibility of organisations such as McDonald’s to protect their young workforces. On one occasion, when Ms Mangan sought support from a colleague, she was told to: “Shut the f**k up and be glad you didn’t get pregnant.”

McDonald’s is also presently facing more than 100 allegations of workplace harassment in branches throughout the UK, as recently published by the BBC. Some of the victims are as young as 17. CEO Alistair Macrow has stated that a new unit is being created to tackle these issues and any substantial breaches of conduct will result in disciplinary action, including dismissal in some instances.

Keith Rolls Partner Coleman Legal LLP

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