Travellers Denied Service Secure Settlement and Redress

Commission Provided Legal Representation to Group

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (the ‘Commission’) has welcomed a settlement secured in a case of members of the Traveller community denied service in a licensed premises. The individuals involved applied jointly to the District Court for redress under the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2003 with legal representation provided to the group by the Commission.

The matter was settled before hearing, with agreement from the licensed premises to pay €6,000 compensation to each of the individuals, plus a further €500 payment to each, to be donated to a charity of their choice. It was a further condition of the settlement that the staff involved in the incident attend a course of equality training.

The group had been attending a human rights course, and at the end of the day decided to go for a drink to a nearby pub. They entered the pub and approached the bar in pairs, however the bar staff refused to serve them claiming that only regulars were being served that night.

Under its legal functions set out in Section 40 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014, the Commission can, in certain circumstances, provide legal assistance to a person who wishes to bring a matter of human rights or equality of treatment before the Courts

Recent research prepared for the Commission by the ESRI entitled “Who experiences discrimination in Ireland”, has shown that Travellers continue to experience very high levels of discrimination and are over 22 times more likely to experience discrimination in Ireland in private services.

Emily Logan, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission stated:

“The Commission welcomes this legal settlement, and the clear message it sends that discrimination in private services, including licensed premises is not acceptable and can be challenged.”

ENDS/

For further information, please contact:       

Brian Dawson, IHREC Communications Manager,

01 8589601 / 087 0697095

bdawson@ihrec.ie

Visit our website www.ihrec.ie or follow us on twitter @_IHREC

Notes to Editor:

The 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.

Under its legal functions set out in the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014, the Commission can, in certain circumstances, provide legal assistance to a person who wishes to bring a matter of human rights or equality of treatment before the Courts or the Workplace Relations Commission.

Assistance under Section 40 of the Act means any or all of the following

  1. the provision, or the arranging for the provision of, legal advice to the applicant;
  2. the provision, or the arranging for the provision of, legal representation to the applicant
  3. the provision of such other assistance to the applicant as the Commission deems appropriate in the circumstances;

The Intoxicating Liquor Act 2003

Where a person considers that they have been discriminated against on or at the point of entry to licensed premises (other than in relation to the provision of accommodation or any services or amenities related to accommodation, or ceasing to provide accommodation or any such services or amenities) on one of the protected grounds within the meaning of the Equal Status Acts 2000-2015, they can apply, under section 19 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2003, to the District Court for redress (rather than the Workplace Relations Commission which is the main body that hears complaints of discrimination that occur other than on or at the point of entry to licensed premises).

Who experiences discrimination in Ireland?

The report “Who experiences discrimination in Ireland?”  was prepared for the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission by the Economic and Social Research Institute as part of the Research Programme on Human Rights and Equality.

Among the findings are that Irish Travellers are almost ten times more likely to experience discrimination in seeking work, and over twenty-two times more likely to experience discrimination in access to private services.

https://www.ihrec.ie/app/uploads/2017/11/Who-experiences-discrimination-in-Ireland-Report.pdf 

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