Tribunal upholds two civil servants' complaints


The Equality Tribunal has upheld two complaints from civil servants who alleged they were discriminated against by Government departments.

In the first case, a woman - who suffers from a serious eye condition that prevents her using computer monitors - complained she was passed over for promotion at the Department of Social & Family Affairs in Dungloe, Co Donegal, because of her disability.

The tribunal found there had been no performance reviews before the promotion arose and the woman was never made aware that her eye condition would mitigate against her promotion chances.

The department was ordered to pay her €10,000 in compensation and give her relevant training.

In the second case, an unnamed alcoholic who had been in recovery since 1996 claimed he was discriminated against in the Government department where he worked. He said he applied for promotion but was denied due to senior management being aware of his condition.

The tribunal upheld his complaint and ordered the department to promote him and pay him €6,000 in compensation.

The cases were among 14 decided at the tribunal in June.

Eight of those involved allegations by Travellers of discrimination against them. Four of these were upheld.

In one case, a primary school student was barred from a supermarket in Killarney, Co Kerry in front of her classmates. She claimed she was singled out because she was the only Traveller in the group and was embarrassed. She was awarded €1,000.

In another case, a Traveller complained that he and his wife had been subjected to an aggressive tirade from the owner of a Dublin fast food takeaway. They said they were eventually chased from the premises by the owner wielding a baton.

The complainant said his mother had gone to the restaurant on a subsequent date and been abused by the owner's wife, who referred to her as a "dirty Traveller who breeds like a rabbit". The Equality Tribunal ordered the takeaway owner to pay €2,000.

A complaint by 35 Travellers that they had been refused access to a pub in Cork on Christmas Eve because of their ethnicity was rejected. The tribunal accepted the publican's defence that the room had not been booked by the Travellers and was too full to let them all in.