Travellers Win Suit in Ireland

According to the Irish national daily newspaper The Irish Times of August 15, 2002, on August 14, 2002, four Travellers were awarded 4,500 euros in compensation, to be paid by the Drogheda Lodge Pub in Finglas, north of Dublin, after they were refused service in the pub. Travellers are a group in Ireland facing similar discrimination as Roma elsewhere in Europe, and as such are frequently grouped with Roma in the international framework. The decision was made by the Office of the Director of Equality Investigations (ODEI) following an incident on July 7, 2001, in which the manager of the pub reportedly instructed staff at the bar not to serve the Travellers and they were asked to leave without reason, after the doorman had allowed them to enter. According to The Irish Times, during the investigation, the pub stated that it had a strict admission policy and dress code which entailed doormen checking for clothing and other articles that identified someone as "rough looking." A Drogheda Lodge Pub staff member reportedly testified that he asked the manager's opinion because one of the Traveller women was wearing a "flimsy summer dress" and tasteless earrings. The manager stated that one of the women reminded him of a woman who had been involved in an incident in the pub in 1998, according to the daily. The daily reported that the ODEI found in favour of the four Travellers because they were refused service based on an incident that had happened years previously and not on individual considerations. Further information on the situation of Travellers in Ireland is available on the ERRC's Internet website at: http://lists.errc.org/publications/indices/ireland.shtml

(The Irish Times)

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