Galway Galway Club found itself in the rough after a woman claimed gender discrimination when she was refused entry to a ‘men only’ competition.
The woman, a keen golfer, who was not a member of Galway Golf Club, complained to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) after being told she couldn’t play an open competition at the Salthill venue on Easter Sunday of last year – because Sundays were men-only days.
She said this was contrary to the Equal Status Act but WRC adjudication officer, who investigated the matter, in a ruling issued last week, said that “the complaint is not well founded”.
Galway Golf Club has made a number of changes to its policy arising out of the complaint, however.
The woman said she phoned the golf club on Tuesday, April 11, last year to book into the following Sunday’s open competition on Easter Sunday.
She was told that she couldn’t play because she was a woman and Sundays were ‘men only’.
When she complained that that was contrary to the Equal Status Act, she was then told that it was permissible because Tuesdays were ‘women only’ days.
The woman proceeded with the complaint and was told that, “in future open days will be open to both men and women”, according to WRC.
Once the complaint was lodged, Galway Golf Club amended its website at the beginning of June opening all open competitions to both sexes other than the competitions which were to take place on July 30 and September 9 of 2017.
The club maintained that it had “acted expeditiously” when the complaint was received. The women’s committee met on April 26; and the men’s committee met on May 3, as did the club council. These were the first available opportunities in all cases to meet.
The general manager wrote to the complainant on May 5, confirming that arising from those meetings “all such competitions would be open to both women and men in future”. She was offered complementary green fees and a meal for two by way of recompense. All club members were notified of the change through an internal email system.
The club argued that, “the need to promote the game of golf is met through balancing the competing factors among members including juniors of both sexes who may be limited in the times during which they can play, seniors who may be restricted on the basis, of family, caring and work responsibilities.
“Accordingly, the club has developed constitutional and operational supervisory committees to balance the various competing needs and devolved responsibility to the Ladies and Men’s clubs to organise club competitions. Each group has a say in arriving at an overall agreement that meets the playing needs of all, recognising that all individual needs and demands can’t possibly be met.”
The WRC Adjudication Officer said: “I am satisfied that the golf club had “objectively justified its decision to rub gender specific ‘open competitions’ and accordingly must find against the complainant”.
€46,000 Lotto winner comes forward as deadline looms
Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Knocknacarra winner of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus from the 12th of December has come forward to claim their prize, just two weeks before the claim deadline.
The winning ticket, which is worth €46,234, was sold at Clybaun Stores on the Clybaun Road on the day of the draw, one of two winners of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus prize of €92,000.
A spokesperson for the National Lottery say we are now making arrangements for the lucky winner to make their claim in the coming days.
Meanwhile, the Lotto jackpot for tomorrow night (27th February) will roll to an estimated €5.5 million.
Voice of ‘Big O’ reflects on four decades
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The daytime voice of Big O Taxis is celebrating four decades in the role – and she has no plans to hang up her headset any time soon.
Roisin Freeney decided to seek a job after staying at home to mind her three children for over a decade. It was 1981 when she saw an advert in the Connacht Sentinel for a dispatch operator.
The native of Derry recalls that the queue for the job wound its way past Monroe’s Tavern from the taxi office on Dominick Street.
“There was a great shortage of work back then. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the line of people. My then husband who was giving me a lift in never thought I’d get the job, he was driving on past and I said, let me off.
“I got it because I worked as a telephonist in the telephone exchange in Derry. But I was terrified starting off because I hadn’t been in the work system for so long.”
Back then Big O Taxis had only 25 drivers and just a single line for the public to book a cab.
“We had an old two-way radio, you had to speak to the driver and everybody could listen in. It was easy to leave the button pressed when it shouldn’t be pressed. People heard things they shouldn’t have – that’s for sure,” laughs Roisin.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Róisín’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
Baby boom puts strain on Galway City secondary schools
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A baby boom in the late 2000s has left parents of sixth class pupils in Galway City scrambling to find a secondary school place for their children next September – with over 100 children currently facing the prospect of rejection from city schools.
The Department of Education is now rushing to address the issue and confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it was fully aware of increasing pressure and demand on city schools
Local councillor Martina O’Connor said there were 100 more children more than there were secondary school places for next year, and warned that this would put severe pressure on schools to increase their intake numbers.
“This will put a lot of pressure on schools because they will have been working out the number of teachers and what resources they would need in October or November last year and they could be facing a situation where they will be asked to take an additional eight or 10 students.
“There would normally be a small excess – maybe two or three – but this year, it’s over 100. There is a bigger number of children in sixth class this year and there will be the same issue for the next few years,” said the Green Party councillor.
A Department spokesperson said while there were capacity issues, factors other than numbers could be at play, adding that there were approximately 1,245 children in the city due to move onto secondary school in September.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.