Pluck of the Irish

Your behavior has to be pretty bad before you stand out in Ireland. But surely Francis Kenny didn’t think he’d get away with this.

Kenny, a 40-year-old sandwich distributor operating his own company, Fresh Cuts, in the west of Ireland, fairly stretched the bounds of decorum recently with an ad he placed on an escort service Web site, The Irish Times reported. It described a prostitute named Maureen—her appearance, age, services she could perform and price list—and included a cell-phone number for interested callers. The number did indeed connect people to “Maureen,” but she turned out to be Maureen Walker—proprietor of Exclusive Sandwiches, Kenny’s chief sandwich competitor in the area.

“It was a woman’s worst nightmare, receiving a phone call from a man saying he was ringing because he required the services of a prostitute. From then on my phone never stopped ringing,” Walker told the judge.

Some of the 100 or so callers apparently became abusive when Walker rebuffed them.

Kenny first denied placing the ad, which carried the heading “Exclusive.Maureen,” but then owned up to it and was convicted of defamation. He apparently brought £10,000 with him to court, but it was not clear if that would be enough in damages to close the case. He is now awaiting sentencing.