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Lecturer to use €70k award for new cases

A lecturer who was awarded €70,000 after taking a case against NUI Galway has vowed to use her compensation to help other colleagues overlooked by the university.

Micheline Sheehy Skeffington took a successful case that she had been discriminated on grounds of gender. The Equality Tribunal ruled that the college must pay her €70,000.

In its ruling, the tribunal also raised the case of other women lecturers in the university who had been deemed eligible for Senior Lecturer in 2009 but were turned down. It said there had been direct and indirect gender discrimination.

Five of these lecturers - Dr Roisin Healey, Dr Elizabeth Tilley, Dr Adrienne Gorman, Dr Sylvie Lannegrand and Dr Margaret Hodgins - are now calling on the university to review their cases.

"We had all gone for promotion and were unsuccessful and we were very surprised to read then in the report that there was discrimination against women and against people with any kind of caring responsibilities, which in this case was all women," said Dr Healey.

"We're getting legal advice, we'd like for the university to make good on the pledge to promote gender equality on campus and we think this would be a very good step."

The group is now awaiting a date to meet with university president Dr Jim Browne. The matter will also be raised at the next meeting of the governing authority later this month.

Dr Sheehy Skeffington said she would use the €70,000 awarded to her to help other colleagues.


"I took my action to help other women and not just for myself," she said.

Last month, the equality tribunal ordered that the university should promote Dr Sheehy Skeffington and back-date her salary to 2009. It also awarded her €70,000 compensation.

A statement from NUI, Galway president Dr Jim Browne said the university views the issue of gender equality very seriously and was taking immediate steps to implement the tribunal's findings which is accepts "unreservedly".

The university is also setting up a task force to review its practices on gender equality.