Hotel Reverses Discrimination Decision

The Charleville Park Hotel has successfully challenged a Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) ruling that it had discriminated against a homeless Traveller couple and their children by refusing them three nights’ accommodation.

The Charleville Park Hotel, part of the So Hotel/Atlantic Troy Group, appealed the WRC finding and a resultant fine of €22,000 to Cork Circuit Appeals Court. The hotel argued it had never discriminated against the family - but had only applied its strict policy of insisting that all guests book and pay via a personal credit card.

Hotel owner Pat McDonagh (pictured), who is also the founder of the Supermac’s fast food chain, welcomed the Cork Circuit Court ruling. "It was never a case that I felt should have gone the way it did," he said.

"There was no discrimination whatsoever here. Our credit card policy applies across the board in the hotel, and they were no different from anyone else in this respect."

"The same applies to everyone. That is the policy and, in fact, it is the policy for most hotels in Ireland and around the world."

Hotel management insisted it treats everyone equally but has strict policies in place which must be adhered to by all guests.

Judge James O'Donoghue said that the matter hinged on whether the hotel was entitled to have a booking policy which required a credit card. The Judge said that, having heard detailed testimony in the case, he was satisfied that the discrimination ruling should properly be reversed.