Tuesday 24 April 2018

Harrington calls on Portmarnock to reverse men-only membership

Padraig Harrington playing at the Irish Open yesterday. Photo: PA
Padraig Harrington playing at the Irish Open yesterday. Photo: PA
Liam Kelly

Liam Kelly

Golfer Padraig Harrington has called on Portmarnock Golf Club to open its doors to women members.

Harrington, a three-time Major champion, and an honorary member of Portmarnock, wants to see the Irish Open return to the renowned north Co Dublin links course, but the only way that can happen is for the members to change the club's constitution and permit women to apply for membership.

The equality issue in high-profile golf clubs was thrust into the spotlight following the decision of the Royal and Ancient, golf's ruling body on this side of the Atlantic, to take Muirfield off the British Open rota.

Muirfield members voted by 64pc to 36pc to continue to exclude women from joining the club.

In response, the R&A said: "The Open is one of the world's great sporting events and going forward we will not stage the championship at a venue that does not admit women as members."

Harrington backed the R&A decision, and said he would like to see Portmarnock take in women members.

"I am an honorary member of Portmarnock. I don't have a vote, but put it like this: If I had a vote, I would be voting for lady members, absolutely. "I don't see any issue with it nowadays, none whatsoever. If you want to host a big event, you've got to fit in with modern society."

Portmarnock last hosted the Irish Open in 2003.

Irish Independent

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