Human Rights Institutions Critical to Pontin’s Apology

Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Centre welcomes today’s apology from UK holiday park operator Pontins for what was termed ‘shocking’ discrimination against Irish Travellers. 

“It’s important that human rights institutions such as the Equality and Human Rights Commission are properly supported and resourced so they can take action in horrendous situations of discrimination such as this and hold people accountable, “ said Martin Collins, Co Director, Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Centre. 

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found Pontins had created a list of common Irish surnames labelled as “undesirable guests”.  It said staff were told to decline or cancel bookings made under those names or by people with Irish accents and these actions were targeted at Irish Travellers. 

“This case demonstrates systemic discrimination within an organisation from management to frontline staff and shows the culture of discrimination that existed at Pontins,” said Martin Collins.  

EHRC issued the tour operator with an “unlawful act notice” – meaning Pontins now has until 9 April to produce an action plan about how it will address its concerns. The company could face criminal penalties if it fails to comply.

“We also want to commend the whistleblower in this complaint who came forward in 2020 and spoke out about the ‘undesirable’ guest list,” added Mr. Collins.