Portmarnock Golf Club move is just the hinges blown off another little door

Sideline Cut: The golf course has long been a perfect battleground in struggle for equality

Portmarnock golf club has voted to allow female members for the first time in its 127-year history. Photograph:  Colin Keegan/Collins

Portmarnock golf club has voted to allow female members for the first time in its 127-year history. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Was it for this that Emmeline Pankhurst agitated and argued on behalf of women’s social and political rights? Did the Moss Side revolutionary dream of the day when womankind could roll the old jeep across the hallowed gravel chippings of Portmarnock golf club, reverse parking with impunity before taking a firm grip of both the struggle for equality and the Palmer Patent Fork Shaft Wood in order to drive a golf ball into the salty air from a tee dedicated to – nay, reserved for – women? Was it really for this that the struggle began?

Well, yes. No. Kind of. News this week that the all-male membership at Portmarnock golf club had voted to allow women members was greeted with the inevitable combination of sardonic mirth, righteous indignation and low whistles at the cost of said privilege from the vast majority of Irish people who have more pressing concerns. For golfey people, this was a landmark moment and for non-golfey people it was scarcely a moment at all. You choose your Titleist and you take your choice.

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