A Conservative Club in Cardiff that refused to host a christening party for Irish Travellers has been ordered to pay compensation.
A father and daughter have settled their claim for race discrimination and harassment after their business was declined in March 2022 when Park Conservative Club learned that they were Irish Travellers.
In a telephone call with a member of staff, the father was told the club’s board had voted to stop hosting Irish Traveller events.
The father called again, recording the subsequent conversation in which he was told that Irish Travellers were banned due to problems at previous events.
Offensive comments about the behaviour of Irish Travellers were made, and the man responded that it was unfair to ban a whole ethnicity because of the actions of others.
The staff member offered a meeting with the club secretary, but the father heard nothing further.
A legal action ensued, with the father and daughter represented by Leigh Day and supported by Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commission, on the grounds that the club had racially discriminated against them both because they were Irish Travellers, as well as a claim of harassment because of the staff member’s comments.
A settlement was reached with no admission of liability on the part of the club. Three staff, a club official and a member of the board have been ordered to undergo cultural-awareness training regarding the Gypsy and Irish Traveller communities.
The father said: “To be told we were banned from booking this venue to celebrate my daughter’s christening just because we are Irish Travellers was deeply upsetting for our family. It’s not right that people like me are treated so unfairly, often on a daily basis.
“I hope by bringing this case we can help bring this type of discrimination to an end so our community can enjoy the same rights as everyone else.”
Leigh Day solicitor Kate Egerton said the club’s action displayed both commonly held prejudice and negative stereotypes, which are “unfair and discriminatory”.
Kishwer Falkner of the Equality and Human Rights Commission said that the body supported this case through its landmark fund for race discrimination cases.