Supermarket chain Tesco has launched an inquiry into employees taking photos and videos of transgender customers, posting them online, and leaving derogatory comments.

The posts, now deleted, went all the way back to October 2012, and involved a small number of Tesco employees at Arthur’s Quay, Limerick.

Transgender customers were mocked in the online comments and videos, as well as others for their mental health, and physical appearance.

One employee, Ger Clancy, who was named by the Sunday World newspaper as being the ringleader behind the majority of the posts, described a transgender person as “tranny”, and another one as a “dirty b*stard”.

A trans woman was also videoed in the store, as Facebook friends of Clancy commented, including one which read: “Can’t stop laughing at it”.

In a statement to PinkNews, a Tesco spokesperson said: “We are the largest private employer in the country, with over 300,000 colleagues. The vast majority of us work incredibly hard every day to give the best service we can to our customers. We all feel let down by an incident like this. The comments were made on a personal Facebook page and are in no way representative of the personal values the rest of us hold. A full investigation is underway and we will take any appropriate action.”

As well as transgender customers, Roma people were also included in the slew of abuse, who were described as “rodents”, and “dirty Romanians”.

When a woman asked him to take down the video, Clancy responded: “F*ck off my page if you don’t want to see my material plain and simple.”

According to the report, at least three Tesco employees were involved in the posts.

Shoppers contacted the Sunday World to say they knew the trans customer in one of the pictures, and that as well as being transgender, she also had issues with her mental health. She was described in one of the videos as a “fruitcake”.

“It’s terrible. Customers who shop at that Tesco branch are unaware that they are being photographed and people are publicly mocking them,” one shopper told the Sunday World.

“I know the transgender person who they were slagging and he is not in the right mental health. He pulled him aside and videoed him . It is despicable (all sic).”