Tuesday 26 September 2017

Solicitor claims gender discrimination in UCC job application

A SOLICITOR can be given a full report into his unsuccessful complaint that he was the victim of gender discrimination at a job interview, the High Court heard.





The Equality Tribunal yesterday conceded its report into a hearing of the complaint from Barry Sheehan should have included the full names of certain people who took part in the hearing - and not just refer to them by letters of the alphabet.



Mr Sheehan, a solicitor of Marlboro Street, Cork, claimed he was discriminated against when he applied for a job at University College Cork in October 2008.



He later brought High Court proceedings over what he claimed was the tribunal's decision "to censor" the names of a number of people who took part in a hearing to determine if he had been discriminated against in the recruitment process for the position of clinical education co-ordinator at the Faculty of Law in 2008.



Yesterday, the High Court heard the tribunal was not opposing Mr Sheehan's application but did oppose his application for the costs of the case.



However, following an adjournment, High Court president Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns was told agreement had been reached between the parties on costs and the case was struck out.



In his complaint to the Director of the Equality Tribunal in April 2009, Mr Sheehan alleged UCC had a practice of appointing females to

posts instead of males. The job in the law faculty, which had a

salary of between €58,000 to €76,000 per year, went to a female candidate.



In dismissing his complaint, the tribunal referred to all the relevant parties, except Mr Sheehan, by use of a letter, such as Ms B, Prof X, Dr Z and Ms R.



Mr Sheehan was informed by UCC he had not been short-listed for the position.



Mr Sheehan had also claimed that, given his qualifications, the decision not to short-list him for interview was manifestly irrational.



UCC had denied his claims of discrimination and said that it operated a transparent selection process which was conducted in a structured and non-biased manner.



The Equality Tribunal found Mr Sheehan had failed to establish a case of gender discrimination and held female candidates were not disproportionately successful for the post.



In his High Court action against the Equality Tribunal, he sought orders directing the tribunal to re-issue its decision to include the proper names of all individuals who were referred to by letters of the alphabet.



Mr Sheehan argued Article 34.1 of the Constitution requires that justice be administered in public and while investigations by the tribunal are held in private, its decisions must be published.



He claimed the effect of the censorship of certain names had shielded UCC from other proceedings by him and other unsuccessful applicants.



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