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Alliance councillor boycotting Tayto crisps over legal action



Patrick Brown met with Mark Ferris earlier this week.

Patrick Brown met with Mark Ferris earlier this week.

Patrick Brown met with Mark Ferris earlier this week.

An Alliance councillor is personally boycotting Tayto crisps after a small business owner was caught selling the Republic of Ireland product.

Patrick Brown told the Belfast Telegraph there was no "ongoing campaign", the boycott was a personal stance and he was not calling on others to join him.

The Newry, Mourne and Down councillor is also running as the party's candidate in South Down in the upcoming General Election.

Tayto Northern Ireland launched legal action against Ballynahinch business owner Mark Ferris for selling Tayto from the Republic of Ireland

The company said they were "protecting their trademark" with the legal action and that it was only instigated after Mr Ferris was sent four letters warning him to stop selling the Irish brand.

A Judge found in favour of Tayto Northern Ireland awarding costs to the company referring the matter to the High Court master for further financial examinations.

Mr Brown met with Mr Ferris earlier this week to discuss the case.

"I certainly would personally encourage you all to read into the case and consider boycotting Tayto in Northern Ireland until they stop this campaign against a small local business," he said in a social media post.

He told the Belfast Telegraph that if Mr Ferris received a large fine as a result of issue he would be set up a fundraising campaign to help him pay for his legal costs.

Mr Brown said he felt it was a case of "big corporate interests going after the little guy".

"I'm doing it to show solidarity with and represent my constituent, if other people choose to boycott then that is their decision," the Alliance councillor said.

The court case highlighted the strict commercial distinctions between the two famous brands with histories stretching back over more than 60 years.

The court heard it was not a "David and Goliath" case.

A barrister for Tayto said: "One misconception is the impression given, to put it colloquially, that he was some innocent abroad.

"It was a breach of the law, and two separate companies trading north and south."

Mr Brown said he did not believe one person boycotting Tayto would worry the company and encouraged the company to work with Mr Ferris.

"I'm standing up for Mark, though I would be more than happy to reconsider if the two sides reached an agreement" he said

An Alliance Party spokesperson said that Mr Brown was speaking in a personal capacity on the issue and that the party was not advocating a boycott.

Tayto were approached by the Belfast Telegraph in relation to Mr Brown's comments but declined to provide a response.

Belfast Telegraph