OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF EQUALITY INVESTIGATIONS
Equal Status Act 2000
EQUALITY OFFICER DECISION NO: DEC - S2002-015/016
Mr Michael Dooley and Mr Gavin Boyne
( Represented by Liam F. Coghlan & Co., Solicitors)
The Grand Hotel
(Represented by Terence F. Casey & Co., Solicitors)
File Refs: ES/2001/186, ES/2001/187
Date of Issue: 8th March, 2002
Headnotes:Equal Status Act 2000 - direct discrimination - section 3(1)(a) and section 3(1)(b) discrimination by association - membership of the Traveller community ground - section 5(1) - refusal of service in the bar of a hotel - prima facie evidence - allegations of previous misconduct - section 15 defence.
Mr Gavin Boyne and Mr Michael Dooley claimed that they and their wives were refused admission to The Grand Hotel, Killarney, between 8.30 p.m. and 9.15 p.m. on 3rd March, 2001. Mr Dooley claimed that he was discriminated against contrary to the Equal Status Act, 2000, because the reason for his refusal was based on his membership of the Traveller community. Mr Boyne also claimed that he was discriminated against contrary to the Equal Status Act, 2000. He claimed that although he is not a member of the Traveller community that the reason for his refusal was based on his association with the people he was with, who are all members of that community.
The respondent claimed that the complainants were not discriminated against on the membership of the Traveller community ground. It claimed that the reason the complainants were refused service was that they were, or may have been, previously involved in an incident at the hotel. It claimed under section 15 of the Equal Status Act, 2000, the holder of an authorisation which permits the sale of intoxicating liquor is permitted to refuse service where there are grounds for believing that someone may cause trouble and that the complainants were refused on this basis.