Can a university be “committed” to fighting gender discrimination while spending thousands of euro appealing cases it has already lost at the equality tribunal?

The university says that it is ‘committed’ to fighting gender imbalance at NUI Galway, at least President Jim Browne has said so. There has also been a press release saying that the government should take immediate action to address this issue, though the government has no direct power over the university. In a press interview the president claimed (falsely) that Dr. Sheehy Skeffington would be taking part in a new task force.

Meanwhile, in the background behind the press releases the university continues to spend tens of thousands of euro fighting legal battles and appealing rulings it has already lost at the equality tribunal.

When Dr Mary Dempsey returned from maternity leave plus some sick leave she was told she could no longer serve as college lecturer but as a university teacher. NUI Galway’s equality board saw no problem with this but when she took her case to the Equality Tribunal she won.

But now the university has appealed the ruling.

Why do you think the equality officer at NUIG saw no discrimination in what happened to Mary Dempsey?

Why do you think the university is appealing the case behind closed doors while sending out press releases about its commitment to tackling gender discrimination?

When a case is under appeal the person is not allowed to speak publicly or to the press about what they have experienced.

Are you buying the spin?


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