Douglas & Nora Byrne
(Represented by Sullivan Waters & Co. Solicitors)
Firhouse Inns Ltd, T/A Holly Hill Inn
(Represented by Kieran McCarthy & Co.)
Douglas & Nora Byrne each referred a claim to the Director of Equality Investigations under the Equal Status Act 2000 relating to an incident which allegedly took place on 20th May 2003. In accordance with her powers under section 75 of the Employment Equality Act, the Director then delegated the case to me, Bernadette Treanor, an Equality Officer, on 20th April 2007 for investigation, hearing and decision and for the exercise of other relevant functions of the Director under Part III of the Equal Status Act.
On 24th April 2007 letters were sent to the complainants' representative and the respondent informing them that the case had been assigned and that the hearing would take place on 23rd May 2007. On 14th May the complainants' representative wrote indicating that his clients had been located, stating that there were some difficulties surrounding his clients' attendance and requesting an adjournment. This was refused because:
1. The respondent could not be given another date for the hearing within a reasonable time,
2. The complainants could be available subject to suitable arrangements, and
3. The complainants had failed to keep either their representative or the Tribunal informed as to their contact details.
On the day of the hearing the respondent was present but the complainants failed to appear.
Conclusions of the Equality Officer
As the complainants failed to appear at the hearing they failed to support their allegations of discrimination. Therefore they have failed to establish a prima facie case of discrimination.
I find that the respondent did not discriminate against the complainants when they were allegedly refused service on 20th May 2003.
3rd August 2007