Sunday 25 February 2018

'No smokers or same-sex couples' - Irishman's ad for Canary Islands holiday villa

A screenshot of the ad detailing 'No smokers or same-sex couples'
A screenshot of the ad detailing 'No smokers or same-sex couples'
Adam Cullen

Adam Cullen

An online ad for a private holiday villa in the Canary Islands has sparked outrage after its Irish owner specified that smoking or same-sex couples were not allowed.

David Costello from Blackrock, Co Dublin said that he has had the policy "for years" and never had any complaints.

But when asked why he had the rule, the painter decorator said, "it's no one's business," but his own.

The Villa in Fuerteventura has been listed on popular private rental site ownersdirect.co.uk since 2010.

The impressive two bed home boasts its own pool and rent is from €375 per week.

However, the ad states that same-sex couples are not welcome.

Listed in the "Important Notes on Accommodation" section the ad reads:  "Please do not smoke in any rooms in the villa.  Ashtrays are provided outside at the patio areas.  Families and couples only, no same-sex couples."

The ad was shared online to various message boards last week after an eagle-eyed holiday hunter spotted the controversial stipulation.

It caused massive debate with many people left disgusted, while others said Mr Costello had the right to choose who he let his home to.

One commentator noted: "I was full sure that the gay marriage referendum would pass but after reading this and some of the comments posted on this site I'm not so sure."

A spokesperson for the UK-based website where the ad was listed has said the section, where the rule was listed, is reserved for the owner of the property.

They said: "This section is for owners to write their own message to potential renters.

"We have no say in what they write and generally don't impose restrictions."

However, the company said they would get in touch with the owner and advise him to "amend" his ad.

Gay and Lesbian Equality Network Policy Advisor Tiernan Brady has said he is not in any rush to condemn anyone for expressing their views.

He added: "Thankfully we live in a country where such discrimination is illegal.

"Ireland has come a long way in a short space of time, but there is always work to be done.

"We are not going to rush out and condemn people who have yet to be persuaded.

"Hopefully with time we can change the views some people have expressed," he said.

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