Tennis Ireland fined for discrimination

Dave Miley’s grievance centred on the process of Richard Fahey’s selection for the job

Tennis Ireland has been fined €6,500 by the Workplace Relations Committee (WRC) after it was found to have discriminated in the appointment of a new chief executive.

The fine came when a complaint of discrimination against Tennis Ireland was upheld earlier this week. The grievance centred on the process of selection for the job.

The governing body will also have to pay their own legal costs, which is expected to be a multiple of the penalty.

The €6,500 figure took into account the stated aim of the complainant Dave Miley, that he was not taking the case for money as Tennis Ireland was a voluntary body.

The amount is half of the €13,000 maximum permitted by the equality committee.

It is believed that the damaging ruling will be discussed by Sport Ireland at a meeting on Tuesday.

The board of Tennis Ireland (TI), who were responsible for the process of appointment, said in a statement on Friday that they were “fully satisfied” with Richard Fahey’s performance in the role.

The statement did not address the central issue, a WRC charge of discrimination in the recruitment process, which was the basis of Mr Miley’s complaint.

“Tennis Ireland notes the outcome of an adjudication made by the WRC in respect of the process to appoint its ceo in late 2016. Six months have now elapsed since that appointee, Richard Fahey, took up the post,” said the statement.

“The board is fully satisfied that the focus and the quality of work undertaken by the ceo in that time highlights the merit of the appointment and is increasingly evident to tennis clubs and their members throughout the island of Ireland.

“The Board of Tennis Ireland will take the time to review the decision and to carefully consider in full the basis of the WRC adjudication before making any further comment.”

Former player and International Tennis Federation coach, Miley, who was one of the final interviewees for the post, took the case after former FAI executive Richard Fahey was appointed to the job six months ago.

The case hinged on the process of selection, not the calibre of the person appointed. The WRC upheld the complaint, stating that the process had discriminated against Mr Miley on the grounds of age.

The chief executive position arose following the retirement of former boss Des Allen last year. There were 79 applications submitted for the role, which was advertised during the summer of 2016.