News Articles

We are bringing this folder up to date. You can also look for recent news articles on the front page of this website, amidst the past posts.

Below is the principal news coverage, with the most current news at the top:

January 2017

From the Village magazine, January 10th:


Not much has changed in NUIG on gender equality, two years after successful EAT case

July 2016

 From RTE News: NUI Galway sued over alleged gender discrimination

From The Irish Times: Women lecturers sue NUIG over alleged discrimination

June 2016
NUIG try to take this blog down and simply score another spectacular own goal
March 2015

Further publicity calls into question NUI Galways attitude to women

February 2015

Students and staff hold another large protest at 81% male academic council as 5 academics have yet to be promoted while no independent representation has been allowed on task force

NUI Galway criticised for asking ‘misogynistic’ questions about menstrual cycle as part of hiring procedure.

January 2015

Students hold massive protest at NUI Galway calling for 5 female academics to be promoted and Micheline’s 3 conditions to be accepted

Student societies, Student’s Union and Unions back Campaign for Gender Equality

December 2014

5 Female Lecturers take court case

Micheline announced her intention to use her damages from the case to support the legal action of 5 other female academics who believed they were discriminated against based on their gender

University falsely claims that Micheline will take part in task force. 

This newspaper article includes a good summary of Micheline’s case as well as highlighting the erroneous information given by the university that Micheline would be taking part in their task force (see final paragraph)

Below is the news article from RTE saying that Micheline had agreed to take part in the task force

and subsequent correction

December 2014 – Micheline’s Three Conditions

Micheline sets conditions for taking part in task force as over 2700 people support her in online petition

NUIG facing fresh barrage of cases as 20 workers appeal

03:55, 7 December 2014 by Leanna Byrne

National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) is facing a fresh onslaught of discrimination cases as 20 employees have appealed decisions on recent promotions, The Sunday Business Post can reveal.

The 20, most of whom are women, have lodged internal appeals and are now weighing up further appeals to the Equality Authority.

They are awaiting the result of an internal appeal, but can apply to the tribunal by December 24.

The group includes five female academics at NUIG.

This follows a November ruling by the Equality Tribunal to award €70,000 and a number of years in back pay to Dr Micheline Sheehy-Skeffington.

The tribunal ruled that the botanist had been discriminated against by the university on gender grounds when she did not receive a promotion.

An NUIG spokesperson confirmed the appeals but declined further comment as the process was ongoing.

The new round of action has highlighted a trend for universities to appeal human resource-related cases to higher courts.

Speaking to The Sunday Business Post, Sheehy-Skeffington said she believed that – had her case not been as public as it was – the university would have appealed the tribunal’s decision.

Information obtained partly through FOI revealed that in 2012 and 2013, NUIG spent €142,311 on legal fees. Of this, €14,399 was spent on human resource-related cases.

This figure excludes €47,431 paid to Ibec in 2013. Ibec provides representation to universities on Employment Appeals Tribunals.

NUIG is currently appealing a discrimination case taken by a female member of the Industrial Engineering department, Mary Dempsey. Last July, the university was ordered to pay Dempsey €81,000 on finding that she was discriminated against after she returned from maternity leave.

A spokeswoman for NUIG declined to comment on appealing Dempsey’s case as the university “cannot provide comment on ongoing individual cases”.

Over two years, seven publicly funded universities spent a total of €5.1 million on legal fees – an average of €2.7 million per year.

The figure does not include over €212,000 spent on Ibec membership fees in 2013.

University College Dublin spent the most in legal fees in one year, paying out €1.2 million in 2012.

Trinity College had the second highest spend in one year, amounting to €579,760 in 2012.

Mike Jennings, general secretary of the Irish Federation of University Teachers, said he believed it was not acceptable for universities to spend taxpayers’ money on legal costs.

He estimated that he had dealt with “a dozen or so” cases where universities hired a human resources manager, an Ibec official and a lawyer from a leading law firm to represent them in court.

“Apart from the waste of public funds, I worry about people feeling reluctant to assert their legal employment rights because they are intimidated by the prospect of being confronted by some of the most expensive lawyers money can buy,” he said.

BREAKING STORY – November 2014

The issue of gender inequality at NUI Galway began making national headlines in November 2014 as news that Dr. Micheline Sheehy Skeffington had won a landmark case against the university finding it guilty of gender discrimination in its promotions procedure   (including video)


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