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CITY TRIBUNE

Golf club successfully fights claim of gender discrimination

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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”.

CITY TRIBUNE

Plan for ‘world-class’ campus with potential for 10,000 jobs at Galway Airport

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From this week’s Galway CIty Tribune – A proposal to transform the former Galway Airport into a ‘world-class’ business and technology campus has been drawn up by Galway County Council – with the potential to create up to 10,000 jobs.

The plan, which was compiled as part of the Draft County Development Plan, proposes a multi-million-euro investment in the 115-acre site owned jointly by the County and City Councils.

According to the vision document, the airport site at Carnmore could become a key economic driver that would “attract and secure long-term investment in Galway and the western region, and underpin the development of the Galway Metropolitan Area”.

Among the sectors identified as potential occupants are renewable energy, biodiversity, food science and logistics.

Some of the structures included for are a ‘landmark building’; commercial units; park amenity and recreation space; a renewable energy park; and a multi-purpose leisure facility.

A contemporary development with the potential to accommodate emerging industries is promised, with projected employment numbers ranging between 3,500 to 10,000 over time.

However, county councillors raised concerns at a meeting this week that the proposal they had seen in the Development Plan had been ‘sitting on a shelf’ since last March – and they still hadn’t seen what was dubbed ‘the masterplan’ for the airport site.

Cllr Liam Carroll (FG) told the Athenry Oranmore Municipal District meeting that the recent news that Oranmore was among the locations being looked at by multinational tech giant, Intel, put fresh focus on the future of the airport.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Work expected to start on Galway City cycleways next summer

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The first six projects in the city’s major new cycle network are expected to begin construction by next June.

In an update on developments that are in train to improve the lot of cyclists, councillors at this week’s local authority meeting were told that the Martin Roundabout (near the Galway Clinic) would next be changed to a junction and the BusConnects, involving priority bus lanes from Moneenageisha to University Hospital Galway, were advancing.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has approved a raised cycle lane north of Railway Bridge on Doughiska Road South and for a shared street south of the bridge.

Eglinton Canal will turn into a shared cycle and pedestrian path. Four weeks of public consultation on both of these is set to begin in October, with the projects set to go to detailed design and tender following final NTA approval.

Ballybane, Castlepark and Bóthar Stiofáin Roads will also go to public consultation for “raised adjacent cycle schemes” a month after that.

The six projects are expected to begin construction by the end of June or early July next year.

Millars Lane is currently in preliminary design stage after clearing works were carried out last November.

Options are being examined and parking survey prepared for Threadneedle, Bishop O’Donnell, Dr Mannix, Devon Park, Salthill Road Upper and Lower Roads with input and designs from the Parkmore Strategic Framework awaited for the Monivea and Doughiska North Roads.

Active Travel Schemes had been approved in principle by the NTA for Ballyloughane and Clybaun South Roads, involving pedestrian crossings, traffic calming, signalisation of junctions and the integration of safe school routes.

Cllr John Connolly (FF) noted that the first quarter of 2021 was when some of these projects were to go to construction, according to a previous timetable.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Pamela’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Racecourse Park and Ride a non-runner for Christmas in Galway

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The lack of a park and ride service this Christmas will drive shoppers out of town at a time when businesses are struggling to recover from months in lockdown, the Mayor has warned.

This is after it was revealed that the City Council has failed to secure an alternative location for the service – with its usual base at Galway Racecourse out of action due to the ongoing vaccination programme.

The service, which had previously operated for the three-week period in the run up to Christmas, enabled motorists to park their cars in Ballybrit and take a return trip by bus to town at a cost of just €2 – taking hundreds of cars out of the city centre.

The Mayor, Cllr Colette Connolly, said it was ‘completely ludicrous’ that it would not be in operation this year, in a city that was already gridlocked with car traffic.

“I think that it is a retrograde step not to proceed with the Christmas Park and Ride because we know what will happen – we’ve seen before what happens at the Corrib Centre around Christmas where traffic backs up and people get stuck in the car park,” said the Mayor.

This would result in shoppers from outside the city avoiding coming in, while others would go to other towns and cities to avoid traffic misery.

“They will go to Limerick or to Dublin, which is only two-and-a-half hours away. They will go to Athlone, because they may as well go there, rather than spend two hours sitting in traffic on Lough Atalia,” added the Independent councillor.

In Council Chief Executive Brendan McGrath’s report to councillors, it is stated that “it is looking unlikely that Galway City Council will be able to run the Christmas Park and Ride in 2021”.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of this story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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