Commission invites Gymnastics Ireland to undertake an Equality Review

The Commission welcomes Gymnastics Ireland agreement to undertake Equality Review

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (the ‘Commission’) announced today that it has used its legal powers, under Section 32(1)(a) of the 2014 IHREC Act, to invite Gymnastics Ireland to carry out an equality review of its services, and that Gymnastics Ireland has accepted this invitation.

In September 2023, Gymnastics Ireland published a statement advising that it had appointed an independent expert to review its policies and procedures, which resulted in a series of recommendations that Gymnastics Ireland was fully committed to implementing.

Following on from that independent expert review, the Commission has invited Gymnastics Ireland to carry out an equality review.

The equality review will consist of an audit of the level of equality of opportunity that exists in relation to Gymnastics Ireland’s provision of services, under the Equal Status Acts 2000 to 2018. The process will involve an examination by Gymnastics Ireland of its practices, and the procedures that it has in place to promote equality of opportunity generally in the provision of services.

In particular, as part of the equality review, the Commission has invited Gymnastics Ireland to:

  • Identify all relevant current practices and procedures that relate to promotion of equality of opportunity by Gymnastics Ireland in the provision of services;
  • Assess the effectiveness of these practice and procedure in promoting equality of opportunity;
  • Identify and assess the practices and procedures Gymnastics Ireland utilises to handle complaints raising an allegation of discrimination;
  • Identify whether any issues of equality of opportunity arise; and
  • Outline any recommendations and/or findings from the equality review.

In inviting Gymnastics Ireland to conduct an equality review, the Commission is not seeking to revisit or to examine any individual complaint of discrimination made to Gymnastics Ireland. Rather, the equality review will focus more generally on the structures and practices that Gymnastics Ireland has put in place following its independent expert review.

Deirdre Malone, the Commission’s Director said:

“We welcome Gymnastic Ireland’s willingness to engage in an equality review.

Sport is an important part of the fabric of our society, and sporting organisations have an important role to play in promoting and protecting equality amongst their participants.

Equality reviews present an organisation with an important opportunity to reflect on the systems and practices that it has in place, and to benchmark them against its obligations under equality law to ensure that it is fulfilling the duty to promote equality of opportunity and to prevent discrimination”.

As the process has now begun, we will be making no further comment.


For further information, please contact:

Jean O’Mahony, Head of Strategic Engagement,

01 859 2609 / 087 382 4248

Follow us on twitter @_IHREC

Notes to the Editor:

Equality Review

Section 32 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality 2014 Act gives the Commission statutory powers in relation to the carrying out of Equality Reviews and the preparation of Equality Action Plans.

An Equality Review or Equality Action Plan may relate to equality of opportunity generally, or a particular aspect of discrimination, within an organisation or organisations (public or private sector). Equality of opportunity is understood as meaning that an organisation affords the same opportunities and treatment to persons, without such persons being disadvantaged on the basis of any discriminatory grounds listed in the Equal Status Acts 2000 to 2018 and with a view to ensuring full equality in practice among persons. The discriminatory grounds listed in the Equal Status Acts 2000 to 2018 include the grounds of gender, marital status, family status, age, disability, sexual orientation, race, religion, and membership of the Traveller community.

Organisations are requested to carry out Equality Reviews and the focus of the reviews are a matter within the discretion of the Commission, having regard to its areas of focused work and its strategic priorities.

In non-legal terms Equality Reviews are a means for an organisation to benchmark, or audit, its practices against its obligations under equality law in order to assess whether the organisation, as a service provider, is fulfilling its statutory obligations to ensure equality of opportunity, or an absence of discrimination.

Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is an independent public body, appointed by the President and directly accountable to the Oireachtas. The Commission has a statutory remit set out under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act (2014) to protect and promote human rights and equality in Ireland, and build a culture of respect for human rights, equality and intercultural understanding in the State.

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is Ireland’s national human rights institution and is recognised as such by the United Nations. The Commission is also Ireland’s national equality body for the purpose of a range of EU anti-discrimination measures.