FLAC Traveller Legal Service wins maximum payout for woman discriminated against by hotel
The new FLAC Traveller Legal Service has won the maximum possible payout for a woman who was discriminated against by a hotel wedding venue.
The case was adjudicated by the Workplace Relations Commission under the Equal Status Acts 2000-2018 and led to a “very significant outcome”, according to FLAC, whose Traveller Legal Service provided advice and prepared written submissions for the woman.
The hotel in question was shown to be responsive to the woman’s initial email enquiries regarding a booking for her wedding until such time as it was established that she was a Traveller, at which point the hotel adopted a dismissive attitude towards the woman and ceased engaging with her enquiries, preventing her from making a booking.
Christopher McCann, solicitor with the Traveller Legal Service, said: “We are very pleased with the outcome. Our client was subjected to humiliating treatment by the hotel in question. This decision demonstrates that those engaging in commercial life stand to be penalized if they deny their goods or services to Travellers.”
Eilis Barry, FLAC CEO, said: “What we at FLAC witness through our dedicated Traveller Legal Service is that many Travellers experience great difficulties when it comes to booking venues to celebrate the important events of their lives like weddings, holy communions and funerals.
“The decision by the WRC today shows that this kind of practice, which essentially amounts to a kind of social apartheid, will not be tolerated.”
She added: “FLAC will be writing to IHREC to suggest the need for a code of practice in relation to access to pubs, hotels and restaurants.”