Equality Authority welcomes 'clarification'


THE EQUALITY Authority has welcomed the clarifying of the law. “While the Supreme Court judgment is not as we would have wished, it is a matter for the Oireachtas to consider whether it should amend the Equal Status Act now that the Supreme Court has clarified how this Act be interpreted,” Renee Dempsey, chief executive of the Equality Authority, said.

The National Women’s Council of Ireland expressed concern at the ruling and called for changes in the Equal Status Act. “If the law cannot be invoked in a clear case of discrimination, it is no use in the struggle for equality,” said Therese Murphy, its vice-chairwoman. She described as “shameful” Portmarnock Golf Club’s going to such lengths to defend its right to discriminate against women.

The Equality Rights Alliance, a coalition of anti-discrimination organisations, also called on the Government to change the equality law. It urged Portmarnock voluntarily to change its “outdated and unacceptable practice of not allowing women to be members”.

Chairwoman Joanna McMinn said: “Women continue to be disadvantaged by the exclusivity afforded by membership and Portmarnock continues to symbolise and legitimise the ongoing gender inequality which exists in our society.”