Complaint under the Equal Status Act 2000
Pat & Mary Corcoran
Rathcliffe Inns Ltd., t/a The Steering Wheel Pub, Dublin
Equal Status Act, 2000 - Direct discrimination, section 3(1)(a) - Membership of the Traveller community, Section 3(2)(i) - Disposal of goods and supply of services, Section 5(1) - Refusal of service in a pub - Prima Facie case.
1.1 This dispute concerns claims by Pat and Mary Corcoran that they were discriminated against by the respondent, contrary to the Equal Status Act, 2000, on the grounds that they are members of the Traveller community in that on 24 January 2003, they were refused service in the respondent premises.
The complainants each referred a claim to the Director of Equality Investigations under the Equal Status Act 2000. In accordance with her powers under section 75 of the Employment Equality Act 1998 and under the Equal Status Act 2000, the Director then delegated the case to me, Dolores Kavanagh, an Equality Officer, for investigation, hearing and decision and for the exercise of other relevant functions of the Director under Part III of the Equal Status Act.
2 Summary of Complainant's Case.
2.1 The complainants state that they went, accompanied by two others, to the Steering Wheel pub on the 24 January, 2003. A male companion ordered a round of drinks and was refused service by the barman on the basis that only "regulars" were to be served on instructions from the owner of the pub. The complainants queried this and were still refused service. They left the pub and went to a nearby establishment where they and their companions were served with no difficulty
3. Summary of Respondent's Case
3.1 The respondent did not provide any written submissions to the Tribunal and did not attend at the scheduled Hearing of these complaints on 21 March 2006.
4 Outcome of Hearing.
4.1 On balance, taking account of the written and oral evidence of the complainants, I am satisfied that the complainants have established a prima facie case of discrimination on the Traveller community ground which the respondent failed to rebut.
5.1 I find that the complainants were discriminated against on the Traveller community ground in terms of Section 3(1) and 3(2)(i) of the Equal Status Act and in terms of Section 5(1) of that Act. I hereby order that the respondent pay the sum of €500 to each of the complainants for the effects of the discrimination
22 March, 2006