Membership Clubs & Membership of the Travelling Community

Membership Clubs & Membership of the Travelling Community Discrimination

Discrimination on the ‘Traveller community ground’ occurs where one person is treated less favourably than another because one is a member of the Traveller community and the other is not.

‘Member of the Traveller community’ is defined as a member of a community of people who are commonly called Travellers and who are identified (both by themselves and others) as people with a shared history, culture and traditions including, historically, a nomadic way of life on the island of Ireland.

Membership clubs - a sports club for example - are one of the services covered by the Equal Status Acts and, as a general rule, cannot discriminate on any of the nine specified grounds (Age, Civil Status, Disability, Family Status, Gender, Membership of the Traveller Community, Race, Religion, Sexual Orientation) under the Equal Status Acts.

However, there are important exemptions.

Case Studies

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What's next?

Make a complaint

Any person can apply to the District Court for a declaration that a membership club (not a nightclub) is discriminating.

If it is found to be a discriminating club and it is the first such order made against the club, the District Court can suspend a club’s certificate to sell alcohol for a period of up to 30 days. The effect of the suspension is that the club cannot sell alcoholic drinks.

While a second or subsequent determination that a club is a discriminating club remains in effect, no certificate of registration shall be granted or renewed.

The Acts provide for an appeal to the Circuit Court and a club can apply to the District Court for a declaration as to whether it remains a discriminating club.

Actions taken to the District Court may involve costs.

The Workplace Relations Commission does not make decisions on claims about discriminatory clubs.

Contact us

We, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, have a statutory role to fight discrimination and provide information on equality and human rights in Ireland. Please note however that we are not a court and we do not decide on discrimination claims.

Learn more about how to contact us

Contact another organisation

You may find that another organisation could better help you with your issue.

  • Traveller and Roma rights

    Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre

  • Traveller Community rights

    Irish Traveller Movement (ITM)

  • Anti-racism

    INAR (the Irish Network Against Racism)

  • Legal advice for Travellers

    Traveller Legal Service - FLAC

  • Legal advice

    Free Legal Advice Centres

  • Legal aid

    The Legal Aid Board

  • Community law and mediation

    Community Law & Mediation

  • Citizen's Information Centres

    Citizen's Information

Browse the database of organisations working on human rights and equality issues in Ireland.

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