Tag Archives: NUIG

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!

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.’

Really?

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.

 

Micheline in Village magazine: ‘NUI Galway is actually worse, much worse, than others’

SUMMARY: In case you missed it, Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington has written an excellent article in the January 10th, 2017, edition of the Village magazine about the lack of progress regarding gender equality at NUI Galway since winning her gender equality case at the Equality Tribunal in November 2014. The article, titled “Gender-isory: Not much has changed in NUIG on gender equality, two years after successful EAT case”, details the ongoing problems at the university. 

Quoted below is an excerpt of the article:

mich-crop

Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington

 

My case was a landmark case partly because, despite being in the public service, universities have a lot of autonomy, as they should. However, this has led to a lack of transparency in processes such as the promotion and appointment of academics. This has in turn led to an abuse, or perceived abuse, of power. The universities have been getting away with this for a long time now. 

 

 

 

 

The article is reprinted here in full on this page or you can read it and view accompanying photos and a graph by clicking on the following link:

http://villagemagazine.ie/index.php/2017/01/gender-isory/

Gender-isory

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

This November marks the second anniversary of my successful gender equality case at the Equality Tribunal against NUI Galway for its failure to appoint me to the post of Senior Lecturer. It was hailed as a landmark case and should have been a call to arms, not just for NUI Galway, but for all third-level institutions. However, the awakening is slow and I doubt that much has changed on the ground – or in attitudes amongst university management.

Currently, many staff in NUI Galway are disillusioned and afraid. Few staff feel able to challenge the authorities. Many are in precarious posts or worried they won’t be promoted. Some staff, I gather, have been reprimanded for speaking out. Fear has filtered through to the students. Recently a society was told it could not display images of Jim Browne, the NUI Galway President in its ‘Mr Browne’s Boys’ cartoon T-shirts at a table supporting five women lecturers pursuing similar litigation. Last April a cartoon exhibition to raise funds and awareness about the five women was booked on campus by the Students Union, but was taken down by Security in the middle of the night.

My case was a landmark case partly because, despite being in the public service, universities have a lot of autonomy, as they should. However, this has led to a lack of transparency in processes such as the promotion and appointment of academics. This has in turn led to an abuse, or perceived abuse, of power. The universities have been getting away with this for a long time now.

However, change comes slowly because university management is not answerable to any board of trustees or shareholders. The governing bodies seem powerless or unwilling to effect change. Ireland has an appalling international record for gender equality in academia. It has been ranked second worst in Europe after Malta for its Glass Ceiling Index in academia. Irish third-level institutions have a lot of catching up to do.

I donated my €70,000 award to five other women who, despite being fully deserving of promotion, had been unsuccessful. Their course of action is far more difficult, with only the High Court as an option because the Equality Tribunal deadline was long past. What I find extraordinary is that the university, instead of conceding errors were made, has chosen to spend large sums of taxpayers’ money fighting these women in the courts through an on-going, protracted and emotionally draining, to say nothing of financially stressful, legal wrangle.The facts were stark in NUI Galway when I took my case in 2009. The proportion of successful applicants was stunningly different for men and women. 50% of male candidates were successful compared to the 6.7% of female candidates who were successful (see Table 1). Summing up twelve points in my favour, the Equality Tribunal ruling highlighted that “perhaps the most significant frailty in the respondent’s [NUI Galway’s] rebuttal” was that in all four recent rounds of promotion to Senior Lecturer combined, men had a one in two and women less than a one in three chance of being promoted. One successful man had not even been eligible to apply.

The Equality Tribunal ruling specified that NUI Galway should send a report to what is now the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission within 12 months of the ruling. I recently got hold of this and am stunned at what took them 13 months to deliver. It comprises two parts, the larger part being an appendix. The first part, three pages long, sets the tone in stating that “a review had already been underway” but fails to specify that this ‘review’ was actually completed in 2011, three years before the Equality Tribunal ruling and is in fact referred to in the ruling.

The first part goes on to repeat the recommendations from that report and devotes one page to the recommendations for the 2013/14 round of promotions, initiated a year before the ruling. No reference is made to the fact that 20 of the candidates deemed suitable but not promoted in that round appealed and that only 18% of female candidates were promoted compared to 35% of male candidates. The consultant’s report commissioned on the back of these appeals is not available even under Freedom of Information (FOI).


There was a burst of outrage in the university on foot of my successful case and the action taken by the five other women. The injustice to the five women was immediately raised at the NUI Galway Údarás (Governing Body). I understand the discussion was heated. However, the minutes of that elevated body are only available under FOI where, as part of the process, any useful information has been redacted. Several heated meetings of the NUI Galway Academic Council, that comprises professors, deans and heads of school, and so is overwhelmingly male, resulted in nothing. It was told it was powerless to change matters.

Large numbers of students joined the campaign to support the five women, horrified to learn that they had not been promoted. “I am joining the campaign because [name of one of the five women] is the best lecturer I’ve ever had” was a common refrain. The Students Union and both staff unions gave their full support and 26 student societies signed up in solidarity to the campaign. This support continues.

What has happened since? A task force was established with much public fanfare and it delivered its final report in May 2016. This was hard-hitting, if limited, since it did not address the position of the five women or focus on non-academic staff, where matters are even worse.

The recommendations of the task force are not faring particularly well. It recommended that 50% of the “major influential” committees should be chaired by women by 2018. However, College Deans (all men) chair such committees and three of them were recently replaced by three more men. The task force suggested a cascade system of promotion. This is being watered down. Although 52% of lecturers are women, only 40% and not 52% of those promoted are required to be women, according to Equality Manager Aoife Cooke.

A new Vice President for Equality and Diversity has been appointed with a starting salary of €106,000 per annum. She may bring about some change, but I have always queried the necessity for this new post that costs more than it would to promote the five women. Sadly, the new Vice President appears to be focusing not on results but on the message that “NUI Galway is no worse than any other university”. This sums up the university’s concern. Image supersedes staff welfare. They are even planning to apply for an Athena Swan award, that recognises advancement of gender equality in universities, while continuing to fight the five women in the Courts. NUI Galway is actually worse, much worse, than others, as HEA figures show.

The Higher Education Authority set up an expert group on gender issues and its report, published last June, includes gendered statistics for Higher Education Institutions. This year’s rankings show NUI Galway, with 21% female senior staff (Professors and Senior Lecturers) to be a clear 6% lower than the next in line, UCC with 27%. These rankings, however, are never referred to and other rankings don’t include gender balance in their metrics. One can only hope there will be competition to avoid being bottom of the list in the rankings, thus bringing about at least some real improvements for female academics.

 

Two years on and NUI Galway still haven’t learnt

When Micheline first won her case, Jim Browne, the University President, said he wasn’t concerned about the resulting bad publicity as it would soon be over, replaced by a positive news story about NUI Galway. Well, here we are, two years later and the fall-out from her win is still causing bad publicity for NUI Galway. That’s precisely because management continues with the same attitude that if they ignore it, eventually it will go away. Instead there’s recently been another flurry of press reports.

Meanwhile, the student supporters of the campaign have set up a table on Tuesdays on the University’s main concourse where they are signing people up for a demo at the upcoming High Court hearing. The campaign plans to hire a couple of buses to take everyone. A mass of students demonstrating outside the High Court in Dublin against NUI Galway is going to result in a  tidal wave of bad publicity. Will management never get it?

table-croped-1The student’s table, next to Smokey’s Café on the main concourse.

The students are fired up about the injustice. There are five other female lecturers who deserved promotion as much as Micheline in the same senior lecturer promotion round in which 16 men were promoted and only one woman, despite 50% of junior lecturers being women.  Micheline says she knows this as she saw the application details and scoring for everyone shortlisted. But management refuse to do anything about it, even to set up an enquiry – instead all they do is delay the resulting court cases. IFUT, the staff union that represent two of the five women, issued a statement last week accusing the university of deliberate delay. In response, NUI Galway issued their own press release claiming that was not the case.

But what are the facts? One of the women, represented by IFUT, is taking a Labour Court case. You’d think that would be straightforward. After all, NUI Galway admitted to the Equality Tribunal that one of the promoted men wasn’t even eligible to apply for promotion while the woman who is taking this Labour Court case was deemed next in line for promotion by the promotion board. Thus, she should have been promoted. But instead, at the initial grievance procedure meeting required by the Labour Court, NUI Galway failed to show up. Then when the actual Labour Court hearing happened, five months later, and the judge asked if NUI Galway were prepared to attend a grievance procedure meeting rather than him making a ruling, they said yes. That hearing was in early May, more than six months ago. There still hasn’t been a proper grievance procedure meeting! We hear that when they did finally attend a meeting last month, the three people representing NUI Galway said they couldn’t do anything as they hadn’t any of the paper work – this is despite one of them being at the Labour Court hearing where NUI Galway had all that paper work! It’s no wonder IFUT then issued their press statement accusing NUI Galway of deliberate delay.

The four other women have to take High Court cases based on gender discrimination. In October, NUI Galway’s lawyers applied for and received permission for a pre-trial hearing that would deal with the legal arguments alone. NUI Galway claimed this was to potentially save the cost of a full High Court hearing but what it will also do, if successful, is prevent the facts from coming out, the reasons for sixteen men and only one woman being promoted – facts that would, if Micheline is right, be very embarrassing for management. The date the four women have now been offered for this pre-hearing is May 4th, 2017! That means that even if NUI Galway lose the pre-hearing, the actual High Court action itself might not happen until 2018! And the University claims they are not delaying things!!

This continual delay is truly awful for the five women concerned, but it is also detrimental for the university. It means NUI Galway continues to get bad publicity. For instance, the students will be there demonstrating outside the pre-hearing as well as any main hearing if that also happens. It means NUI Galway can’t be considered for an Athena Swan award while there are pending legal cases – something the HEA has told universities they have to receive if they want continued funding. It makes no sense. Promoting the five women would cost less than the annual salary being paid to the new Vice President for Equality. That’s a post that seems to be mostly about optics rather than change. But what’s the point of spending all that money on optics when you continue to undermine her by refusing to promote the five women? The only people that seem to gain from this continued delaying are the management themselves. At the rate they are going they’ll all be well out of the place before anything happens. Jim Browne himself certainly will be. He retires at the start of March 2018.

 

IFUT Press statement: http://www.ifut.ie/content/nui-galway-punishing-women-who-highlighted-gender-discrimination-says-ifut

 

 

2 years after landmark case, not much has changed at NUIG

In City Tribune article by Dara Bradley,  Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington discusses the gender discrimination case she won in November 2014. Two years later, NUI Galway still has the lowest percentage of senior female academics at Irish universities. What’s more, five other women lecturers at NUI Galway who were interviewed in the same round in 2009 STILL have not been promoted. ‘It would make sense to promote the five women’, said Micheline. ‘The bad publicity arising from it has taken its toll.’

The complete article follows below.

mich-article

In latest stall tactic, NUIG gains approval for pre-trial hearing

Just the legal arguments, not the facts?

SUMMARY: As noted on this website on July 22nd, NUI Galway applied recently to the High Court seeking a pre-trial hearing of the cases being taken by the four female lecturers who are suing the university on the basis of gender discrimination in the 2008/9 round of promotion to Senior Lecturer. The judge ordered the preliminary hearing yesterday, as reported in The Irish Times. The Times story, which follows below, is mired in legalese, but basically the ruling means the judge considers that most of the issues in the women lecturers’ case can be decided independently of factual matters at the hearing. This is a stall tactic that is typical of the university, which is trying to prevent the facts of the case from coming out. It remains to be seen what will be decided at the pre-trial hearing, but this is only the beginning of the women lecturers’ fight for their right to be promoted. We’re not giving up.

Judge orders preliminary hearing in NUIG discrimination case

Four female lecturers alleging gender discrimination in a competition for promotion

The Equality Tribunal found in 2014 that NUIG lecturer, Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, was discriminated against on grounds of gender. File  Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy/The Irish TimesThe Equality Tribunal found in 2014 that NUIG lecturer, Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, was discriminated against on grounds of gender. File Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy/The Irish Times

A judge has granted an application by National University of Ireland Galway(NUIG) for a trial of preliminary legal issues before a full hearing of actions by four female lecturers.

They are alleging gender discrimination in a competition for promotion.

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.

Mr Justice Donald Binchy on Tuesday granted the college’s application for a preliminary trial. A date for that will be fixed later.

Lawyers for the lecturers had argued the issues would be most appropriately dealt with at a full hearing as the cases raises “complex issues of Irish and EU law” and “matters of national public interest”.

In his brief ruling, Mr Justice Binchy said he considered most of the issues could be decided independently of factual matters at a pre-trial hearing.

Those include whether the Employment Equality Acts modify the lecturers contracts of employment to include an implied contractual right to gender equality and/or confer a cause of action for alleged breach of contract which can be heard by the High Court.

If the answer to that question is yes, the judge said the High Court should also decide whether the Acts require that any proceedings for redress for alleged breaches of rights be heard by the WRC or Circuit Court or could a claimant also seek redress under common law.

Other issues are whether EU law gives rise to an independent cause of action for damages in the High Court for alleged breach of an implied contractual right to gender equality and whether the Universities Act gives rise to a cause of action in the High Court for breach of contract.

Statute barred

Another issue concerning whether the lecturers’ cases were statute barred (brought outside the legal time limits) may involve mixed issues of law and fact, the judge noted. If the judge hearing the preliminary issues considered the statute point could not be determined without a full hearing, that issue would go forward to the full action, he said.

He will give a written judgment later outlining his full reasons for directing a trial of preliminary issues.

The cases arises after Dr Sylvie Lannegrand, Dr Rosin Healy, Dr Margaret Hodgins and Dr Adrienne Gorman made unsuccessful applications for promotion to positions of senior lecturer under a promotion process operated by the college between October 2008 and April 2009.

The four say they were treated less favourably by NUIG on grounds of gender and/or family status. They want various declarations including the promotion process breached their contracts of employment and contractual entitlement to gender equality along with provisions of the 1997 Universities Act, the Employment Equality Acts and EU law.

They also want orders promoting them to senior lecturers from July 1st 2009 and associated adjustments to their salaries, pension rights and other benefits effective from that date. They are also claiming damages.

NUIG denies the claims, pleads the lecturers have no cause of action against it in the High Court and the Workplace Relations Commission is the proper body charged with determining complaints of employment discrimination.

The actions were initiated after the Equality Tribunal found in 2014 another lecturer at NUIG, Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, was discriminated against on grounds of gender during the same promotion process.

The college was ordered to promote Dr Sheehy Skeffington, pay her €70,000 and review its appointments system.

And here is the link to the actual story in The Irish Times:

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/courts/high-court/judge-orders-preliminary-hearing-in-nuig-discrimination-case-1.2734943

University tries to shut down this Web page!

NUI Galway’s solicitors have written to Automattic Inc., the company that owns WordPress.com, threatening the company with legal proceedings for defamation. They also wrote to the Micheline’s Three Conditions campaign, using our e-mail address, threatening the same.

In both letters, they cite content from the piece we posted on 9th May titled ‘Continued delay to the court cases of the five women is not in NUI Galway’s interest’ (https://michelinesthreeconditions.wordpress.com/2016/05/09/continuing-delay-to-the-court-cases-of-the-five-women-is-not-in-nui-galways-interest/).

Automattic Inc. told us they are not going to take down our blog as we have not infringed on their terms of service. But still, this is a deeply sinister move on the part of NUI Galway, one that is in line with the recent pressure that, we have been told, they have put on local reporters not to report our activities. It is also typical of the kind of bullying we were highlighting in the piece they challenge.

The obvious question that arises is: Why are they doing all this and why now? The campaign has been running for eighteen months without anything like this from NUI Galway. We have been selling and promoting T-shirts that lampoon the management and the President, criticising them over and again on this Web page and reporting speeches Micheline has made about them, and there has been lots of media coverage. Through all that, there hasn’t been a squeak out of management, but now they are reportedly leaning on the press and have instructed their solicitors to write a letter that cites these five statements as defamatory:

  • ”from what we hear, prevention and delay is a standard strategy for NUI Galway management to court cases arising out of staff grievances”;

 

  • “doing the same thing with the five women gives the lie to the President’s statement that the reason he could not simply promote them is that there was no legal basis for their promotion”;

 

  • “…the perception of NUI  Galway as misogynist … “;

 

  • “…six months ago, the campaign was sent proof of deliberate interference by management in the promotions of 2008/9 “; and

 

  • “…there is a whistle-blower from senior NUI Galway management who, it is also reported, details fifteen instances of promotion malpractice by NUI Galway”.

The answer, we feel, is in this list. The first three statements are not new; we had already reported Micheline as saying the same, and we have published far worse. Additionally, the whistle-blower mentioned in the last statement has already been mentioned in several news outlets, as we have reported. Consequently, those statements can’t be the real reason for the letter. Thus, that leaves only the statement that we have been sent proof of deliberate interference by management in the promotions of 2008/9. That point has never been mentioned before. So we can only conclude that that must be why they are trying to shut this Web page down and stop the press from reporting our activities.

Management knows what we were sent. We know that because one of them inadvertently told someone they had also received a copy. So why are they panicking like this? Their actions are like a Third World despot who hasn’t caught on yet to how the modern world of the Web and social media works and who doesn’t realise that the Internet can’t be silenced by their usual threats and bullying. So what is it they so desperately don’t want you to know?

The campaign has learnt a lot since it started. Individuals have contacted us, usually via our e-mail address, and shared instances of NUI Galway management interfering with the promotion process and/or bullying. Then there was the piece we were sent for publishing mentioned in the statement which included minutes of university meetings and memos to prove what was asserted. This campaign, however, was set up only to achieve Micheline’s three conditions. It is not our role to force management to resign by exposing their wrongdoing, at least not for its own sake. The way for NUI Galway’s management to shut us up is not through threats but to simply put right the past injustices and promote the five women.

Until they do that, the campaign will continue. And now that NUI Galway’s solicitors have sent threatening letters, we feel we should reconsider our policy and reveal some of the things we know. With bullying, you need to demonstrate to the bully that it will not work. We want them to realise that the more they do it to us, then the more we will reveal. The details we post cannot include any information that Micheline found out from her Equality Tribunal case, or from the court cases now being undertaken by the five – neither of which the campaign is privy to. But there is a lot else we could choose to tell you. We intend to release some of this information on this Website, a few bits at a time from everything we have learnt. We do not expect the site to be shut down because of this – but should it be, we will simply continue elsewhere.

To get our posts as soon as they are uploaded, sign up to the Web page by clicking on the small icon with ‘follow’ in the bottom right of this page. If this site should disappear, you can simply write to mich3c@gmail.com to find out where to go next, or go to the Facebook page run by other supporters of the campaign (www.facebook.com/supportformich). You can also use the e-mail address to send us anything which you know management would not like revealed, or that might help the court cases. We can then pass it on but we will never reveal our sources. Watch this space to see what happens next!

Finally, we can’t resist finishing by sharing with you one last aspect of the solicitors’ letters that points again to the surprisingly old-world thinking of a management which has just boasted with their ‘Bricks and Clicks’ European conference about how savvy NUI Galway is about the modern Internet. When prosecuting someone for defamation, to ensure your case is strong you should inform them of the alleged defamation within ten days of finding it out yourself. Our post went up on the 9th of May – we know they monitor this Web page –  and the solicitor’s letter is dated the 19th of May, so that all seems OK. However, the letter arrived in our in-box at 16.09 on the 20th May. With modern e-mails, you can’t put the wrong date on your letter’s heading and blame the Postal Service for its delay. If it arrived with us on the 20th, it was sent on the 20th! We are not lawyers, so we don’t know how important that mistake is. But we are certain that you cannot prosecute someone for defamation if everything they have said is true – as Oscar Wilde famously found out. So their solicitor’s letter is just bullying which is meant to scare us.

A recent image which encapsulates everything for us was Jim Browne, our ‘glorious President’, giving his boast-filled speech about NUI Galway and modern technology at the Bricks and Clicks conference with a ‘modern’ conference Twitter feed running beside him. It contained all the tweets of complaint, forwarded by the Students’ Union, about management taking down our Secret Cartoonist exhibition during the previous night for the entire audience of European university management to read. To us, NUI Galway management now feels like some tin pot regime, somehow just hanging on, but about to be swept away by the tide of change. All bluster and bullying but really with little power anymore. We append their solicitor’s letter to the campaign. Note how the second page still has the correct date of 20th May 2016. You couldn’t make it up!

 

How you can help:
1. Forward the link to this post. The more people who see this post, the more powerful it makes our response to the University’s bullying. https://michelinesthreeconditions.wordpress.com/
2. Follow this blog by clicking on the small icon with ‘follow’ in the bottom right of this page. It would also help if the number of people following us doubled because of their bullying.
2. Write to the President and the Governing Body. Complain about the bullying and tell them to promote the five instead. https://michelinesthreeconditions.wordpress.com/write-to-the-university/