Tag Archives: Micheline

NUI Galway will negotiate with women lecturers: Thursday’s High Court pre-trial hearing and demonstration cancelled


The Campaign has just learnt that the four female lecturers and NUI Galway have agreed to mediation.

As a result of the agreement, the pre-trial hearing regarding the gender inequality case that was scheduled to be held on Thursday May 4th in the High Court in Dublin has been adjourned. So the student demonstration outside the High Court that was planned for Thursday has also been cancelled. However, because Micheline is concerned that some people may not receive or hear this news, she intends to still be there outside the High Court in Dublin at 11.30 am on Thursday to explain and thank anyone who turns up.

The four women who are lecturers at NUI Galway had sued the university last year, saying they were not promoted to senior lecturer in the 2008/09 promotion round because of their gender and, with this pre-trial hearing, the university had been trying to have the case dismissed.

The Campaign would like to thank everyone who contributed their time, hard work and money to the women’s fight. It is because of YOUR commitment that this has become such a high-profile case. We believe this is why the university and the women are now undertaking mediation. It is because of YOUR support that the women’s voices are being heard. We thank you immensely for everything.

The Campaign will stand aside while the women seek what they require through mediation and we are wishing them well. If they are satisfied by the outcome, we will celebrate but not be triumphalist about it. But if they are not satisfied with the outcome, the Campaign will continue until they get justice. So please watch this website for future developments.

Thank you again to all our supporters!

The truth behind the window dressing at NUI Galway


The Gender Equality Campaign has produced posters, such as the one above, to highlight the lack of significant change at NUI Galway.

Reality speaks louder than public relations drivel, no matter how you spin it.

To wit, NUI Galway says it’s doing all it can to address gender inequality at the university.  After all, the university has repeatedly pointed out, it set up a Task Force for Gender Equality, has adopted a mandatory female quota of at least 40% for the next promotion round to Senior Lecturer, and hired a Vice President of Diversity and Equality.

From our vantage point, these changes are merely window dressing.

The truth behind the changes?

  • The task force was not independent and its scope was far too narrow, according to both the trade union SIPTU and Micheline Sheehy Skeffington.
  • The report issued by the task force suggested a cascade system of promotion, but this is being watered down. Although 52% of Junior Lecturers are women, only 40% of those promoted to Senior Lecturer are required to be women, amounting to a 1% increase over the number of women promoted in the last round.

As Micheline wrote in a Letter to the Editor last month in the City Tribune, ‘The task force in itself was a face-saving exercise, as it had no brief to address past issues. … Specifically, it did not address the cases of the five other women who, like me, were deemed eligible, but who were not promoted. I know, from what I saw during my case, that they deserve promotion as much as I did.’

  • The Vice President of Diversity and Equality earns more than €100,000 a year – more than it would cost to promote the five women.
  • Further, the City Tribune revealed recently that concern was raised at a Governing Body meeting last November regarding how much her office was spending. Approximately €500,000 was mentioned as part of the cost of the office – including continuation of unconscious bias training costs.

This is the training that helps to stop staff from giving advantage to men over women. The meeting minutes, obtained by the Tribune through Freedom of Information, said that: ‘One member was extremely surprised at the cost of the unconscious bias training and would like to be convinced in respect of the impact of such training.’ An additional €120,000 was added for enhanced maternity coverage and €90,000 for research for staff returning from academic and carers’ leave, bringing gender equality-related expenses to €700,000. The amount of money involved is amazing, particularly when you compare it to how much less it would cost to promote the five women.

  • Inspired by Micheline’s letter to the Tribune, the campaign has produced these posters (above and below) to highlight the window dressing by management.

As Micheline further explained in her Letter to the Editor, the university’s continued failure to address gender inequality – particularly regarding the five women who have taken the university to court – ‘is the clearest indication of their real attitude to women.’

PROMOTE THE FIVE! And join us on Thursday, May 4th, as we demonstrate outside the High Court in Dublin in support of the five women.

*To read the March 27th City Tribune article (‘Alarm at NUIG’s €700k bill to tackle “unconscious” gender bias’ by Dara Bradley), click on the following link: http://connachttribune.ie/alarm-nuigs-e700k-bill-take-unconscious-gender-bias/

*To read Micheline’s Letter to the Editor, see the post on this page: https://michelinesthreeconditions.wordpress.com/2017/03/27/nui-galway-management-hypocrisy/

Benefit concert with The Stunning, Tommy Tiernan sold out!

The benefit concert this Wednesday at the Black Box is sold out.

The concert has been sold out for more than a week and both the organisers and the Town Hall Theatre Box Office have been turning ever-increasing numbers of people away.

Rose Foley, one of the organisers, commented, ‘The concert really seems to have caught people’s attention. There are 800 tickets and all of them started selling really quickly a couple of weeks back.  Now I figure we could have sold them twice over.’

It is a unique line-up. The Stunning have not played Galway since their amazing outdoor concert in the harbour for the Volvo Ocean Race in 2012, and they have never done a concert with comedian Tommy Tiernan. The line-up is completed by My Fellow Sponges, a band which is especially popular with NUI Galway students. They are all doing the benefit to support the five female lecturers taking legal cases for gender discrimination against NUI Galway.

‘I really appreciate what Tommy and the musicians are doing,’ Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington said. ‘Not only will we raise a lot of money for the women’s legal bills, but the concert has raised awareness of the High Court case that is happening on May 4th. I was particularly impressed with how Tommy agreed to do it. We wrote him a long e-mail explaining what it was all about and got one line back saying “I’m good to go!” ‘

If there are any supporters who have tickets they cannot use, they can return them to the campaign or if tickets were to be collected, let the campaign know whose name they were reserved under and we can re-use them.

And thank you for all your support!

NUI Galway management = Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy seems to be de riguer at NUI Galway.

On Wednesday, NUI Galway President Jim Browne revealed at his biannual speech the university’s hypocritical stance regarding the treatment of female staff, particularly the women who have sued the university in the High Court for gender discrimination, and then on Friday, Micheline further exposed the university’s hypocritical attitude towards the women in a Letter to the Editor in the Galway City Tribune.

Dr Browne gave his biannual speech to all NUI Galway staff last Wednesday and three women, including Micheline, stood up to raise the issue of the High Court gender discrimination case against the university and the dire treatment of women generally by NUI Galway positions. His response was interesting, to say the least.

The women highlighted that the case has been fought for 2 years, 4 months. They emphasised the ‘human cost’ as well as the ‘stress and strain’ caused by the case, saying it is ‘financially draining’ and an ‘emotionally and mentally crushing process.’

We are ‘putting our careers, wellbeing and finances on the line to fight for what is right,’ one of the women said, adding that the sacrifice is ‘not only for ourselves but, more importantly, for others.’

In the past, Dr Browne has responded to such statements with obvious annoyance, even outright anger.

This time, he claimed heartfelt concern.

‘I regret to the core what the five women are going through,’ he told them and added that he wished he could help them but he was unable to do anything about it, explaining that ‘the issue is very complicated.’


He has said in the past that ‘I can’t and won’t promote them’ and that it is for the women to prove they deserve promotion in court. That’s why the women filed the court case in the first place. Yet, instead of allowing the case to continue and let the facts come out, the university is dragging out the process – using taxpayers’ money while the women have to fund raise to pay their costs.

At the request of the university, a pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for Thursday, May 4th in the High Court. Such a hearing will look only at the case’s legal basis – not the facts. In short, the hearing is merely an attempt to have the women’s court case thrown out so that the facts won’t be revealed to the public and the women won’t be able to prove that they were discriminated against.

According to The Irish Times, the preliminary issues centre on whether the lecturers’ claims can be dealt with by the High Court or must they be first determined by the Workplace Relations Commission and/or Circuit Court. Two years and four months later, this is where the case stands?

But wait, the hypocrisy at NUIG continues.

Mich letter

In a Letter to the Editor (reprinted in full above) in the most recent edition of the Galway City Tribune, Micheline exposed the hyprocrisy of NUI Galway management regarding the treatment of women at the university.

Micheline referred to an article in the March 17th edition in which NUI Galway rejected Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh’s claim that the university has done little for the female staff in the last two years.

According to the article (“We’re taking action,” Page 15), the university said it is ‘comprehensively addressing the issue at all levels.’

However, Micheline refuted this statement, saying, ‘Yet I see no evidence that key “college decision-making bodies” come anywhere near having the 40% of female representation they claim.’

Micheline pointed out that:

  1. In the past three years, four of the five male College Deans have been replaced – by four more men. (The College Deans are the Deans with the real power at the university.)
  2. The Academic Council, the top academic decision-making body, is still at least 80 percent male.
  3. More than 95% of new directors of Institutes and research programmes at the university are men.
  4. July 2016 HEA figures show that NUI Galway ranks a clear last of all third-level institutions with 21% female senior staff (Senior Lecturers and Professors).
  5. The mandatory 40% female quota being adopted for the next promotion round is only 1% higher than the percentage of women promoted in the last round.

‘The continued failure of NUI Galway to address this injustice is the clearest indication of their real attitude to women,’ she wrote.

She said, in fact, the university is doing all it can to prevent the five women from getting justice. That’s why the benefit concert is being held on Wednesday, March 29th at the Black Box. It is not just about raising money but also awareness of what is happening. And that’s why the Students’ Union is providing buses to Dublin on May 4th so that students can protest outside the High Court. The demonstration is being held precisely to highlight the hypocrisy of what NUI Galway are attempting to do. Please come and join us and the students! 12 noon at the High Court, May 4th! We will be arranging our own bus for supporters.


Video is ‘Brewing Up a Storm’ for NUIG 5 benefit concert

Here’s our great new video made for us by Eddie Mullarkey. You can help the campaign by sharing it or sharing our Facebook events page where it also appears at https://www.facebook.com/events/668169246701296/?active_tab=discussion.

The benefit concert will feature The Stunning along with My Fellow Sponges. The MC for the event will be comedian Tommy Tiernan, so expect the unexpected! You can buy tickets at the Town Hall Theatre box office or online here at:  https://tht.ie/2655/benefit-concert

The concert will be held Wednesday, March 29th, at The Black Box in Galway. The event will raise funds to support court cases filed by the 5 women lecturers at NUI Galway who are fighting for their right to be promoted.

In the 2.34-minute video, Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington eloquently states the history of the injustices committed against the five women, who have taken NUI Galway to court over the university’s refusal to promote them to senior lecturer in 2009. In addition, two NUI Galway students passionately voice their support for the women lecturers and their right to be promoted. Micheline states that the concert is being held to help with the women’s court expenses as well as to provide moral support for what they are going through in their battle for equal rights.

See for yourself by clicking on the above video.

Comedian Tommy Tiernan will emcee a benefit concert for the five women lecturers who have been forced to take court cases against NUI Galway to fight for their rights.

Benefit concert announced! Tiernan to host; The Stunning, My Fellow Sponges featured



Save the date: Wednesday, March 29th!

Three local acts — The Stunning, Tommy Tiernan and My Fellow Sponges — will play a benefit concert supported by the NUI Galway Students’ Union with all proceeds going towards the legal costs of the five women taking court cases against NUI Galway. The concert will be held at The Black Box on Wednesday 29th March.

And we can use your help!

We need as many people as possible at the concert. If you can come, please do. Tickets are available at the Town Hall Theatre box office or online at http://tht.ie/.


If you want to do this, just write to mich3c@gmail.com with your contact details and we’ll get back to you. And thank you in advance.

Update: We are also looking for sponsors for the concert as well as prizes for a raffle. Sponsors can be large businesses, small shops or individuals. If anyone can help with sponsorship, please write to mich3c@gmail.com.

The Stunning have not returned to play in Galway since their amazing outdoor concert in the harbour for the Volvo Ocean race in 2012. Tommy has a TV show and is filling venues around the country. My Fellow Sponges are a favourite band of NUI Galway students. What they all have in common is they want to put right the injustice being suffered by the five female lecturers because of NUI Galway’s intransigence.

Four of the five women lecturers are taking NUI Galway to the High Court. The first hearing is on Thursday, May 4th, when NUI Galway’s lawyers will attempt to have the cases thrown out on legal arguments alone. The fifth woman has been fighting NUI Galway in the Labour Court.

Tommy, the emcee for the benefit concert, will galvanise NUI Galway students to join the demonstration outside the High Court in Dublin against the university on May 4th. NUI Galway Students’ Union are providing free coaches.

“What NUI Galway is doing is deeply hypocritical,” said Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington. “First, they told the women they needed to prove their cases in court and now they are attempting to have those cases thrown out without them being heard. They claim this is because it will save money, but really it’s because of the scandal which will come out in open court if the women are allowed to present the details.”

These were the five women shortlisted and not promoted along with Micheline, who won an Equality Tribunal case in 2014 against NUI Galway for gender discrimination. Micheline says the case allowed her to see the application forms of all the shortlisted candidates; consequently, she knows these five women deserve to be promoted as much as she did. In that round, 16 men were promoted and only 1 woman, even though 52% of the Junior Lecturers eligible to apply were female.

Please help us make this benefit concert a success. Your support is greatly appreciated.



The Secret Cartoonist exhibition is back!



The Secret Cartoonist exhibition will be on display at the Secret Garden Cafe in Galway through Feb. 5th. Drawings and T-shirts as well as badges, mugs and post cards will be available for sale to support the Gender Equality Campaign.

The exhibition of cartoons that caused so much upset to NUI Galway management last April is back on view at the Secret Garden Café, 4 William St West, Galway.

“I’m delighted it’s back,” said Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, who launched the exhibition in front of a blank wall in NUI Galway’s Arts Millennium building last April. “It’s about raising awareness amongst students, especially about the four women’s High Court cases.”

Micheline said the next few months are critical for the Gender Equality campaign because the pre-trial hearing will be held Thursday, May 4th.

“If the University succeeds in having the women’s cases thrown out on a legal technicality, it will be an enormous injustice,” she said. “So the campaign is doing all it can to raise awareness so that lots of students and supporters come on the buses the Students Union are providing to demonstrate outside the High Court.”

The exhibition, which runs until February 5th, comprises a selection of framed and signed copies of the ‘University President –a fictional character’ cartoons as seen on Facebook. The original drawings for the ‘Mr Browne’s Boys’ T-shirts, which poke fun at University management, are also on view, some still for sale.

Last April, the exhibition was taken down in the middle of the night by University security even though the NUI Galway Students’ Union had properly booked the space. The clandestine removal brought more attention to the exhibition, which was subsequently allowed to go back up.

“But it’s had repercussions this year,” Micheline said. “University management have changed the rules about exhibitions so we won’t be able to hang it again there. In fact, the student societies who’re running a table in the University concourse every Tuesday and taking bookings for the High Court buses were told they couldn’t display the T-shirts that lampoon President Jim Browne and other senior management!”

The Secret Garden Café is frequented by many NUI Galway students as well as staff and will take orders for sales at the counter. Mugs, badges and post cards are also for sale at the café. To see the exhibition’s Facebook page, click on the following link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1042373805867551/