Travellers Denied Service – Commission Provided Legal Representation to Group

14th December 2017  

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (the “Commission”) has welcomed a settlement secured in a case of members of the Traveller community denied service in a licensed premises. The individuals involved applied jointly to the District Court for redress under the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2003 with legal representation provided to the group by the Commission.

The matter was settled before hearing, with agreement from the licensed premises to pay €6,000 compensation to each of the individuals, plus a further €500 payment to each, to be donated to a charity of their choice. It was a further condition of the settlement that the staff involved in the incident attend a course of equality training.

The group had been attending a human rights course, and at the end of the day decided to go for a drink to a nearby pub. They entered the pub and aproached the bar in pairs, however the bar staff refused to serve them claiming that only regulars were being served that night.

Under its legal functions set out in Section 40 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014, the Commission can, in certain circumstances, provide legal assistance to a person who wishes to bring a matter of human rights or equality of treatment before the Courts

Recent research prepared for the Commission by the ESRI entitled  ‘Who experiences discrimination in Ireland’, has shown that Travellers continue to experience very high levels of discrimination and are over 22 times more likely to experience discrimination in Ireland in private services.

Emily Logan, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission stated:

The Commission welcomes this legal settlement, and the clear message it sends that discrimination in private services, including licensed premises is not acceptable and can be challenged.”