Flambards and mother of disabled child in Facebook row
AN ALMIGHTY row broke out on the internet this week between the mother of a severely disabled child and Flambards theme park in Helston.
The mother had criticised the attraction through its Facebook page and said staff had been rude to her during a visit last Friday.
In an unusual move, Flambards hit back on the social media site, criticising the mother and blaming her for “acting aggressively” and “hiding behind one’s son’s disability”.
The theme park’s response then attracted many posts this week from people complaining it had gone too far.
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All the comments have since been removed from the page.
The rumpus began when Marie Ralph and her seven-year-old son were queuing to enter the park on the Friday before the bank holiday weekend.
After waiting to reach the turnstiles, Ms Ralph said her son, who has autism, Tourette’s syndrome and sensory impairment, was becoming agitated.
She left the queue, as she already had a pre-paid entrance ticket, but was told by a member of staff that she must rejoin the lengthy line.
She said: “When the manager arrived, he did not ask how he could help, but asked what was my problem?”
She admitted becoming angry at the behaviour of the staff and accused them of discriminating against her disabled son.
She added on Facebook: “I hope their sarcastic and unjustified remarks will prove to you the awful way in which I was spoken to in person.”
Ms Ralph said she took her son to Poldark Mine instead.
Flambards’ James Kingsford Hale said the incident was captured on CCTV and he disputed many of Ms Ralph’s claims.
He said: “I absolutely refute the allegation that any of my staff behaved in an insensitive or discriminatory way and am appalled by some of the comments made as a result of some of the frankly libellous remarks posted on our Facebook page.
“We have responded to Ms Ralph’s complaint in private and only posted our side of the story on Facebook to counter the stream of abuse we were getting from the complainant and her associates.
“That post and all the comments that followed have now been deleted as we deemed them unsuitable for family reading.”