Overview of the extent of discrimination in Ireland

Research English OPEN
Cantillon, Sara ; Vasquez del Aguila, Ernesto (2009)
  • Publisher: University College Dublin. School of Social Justice
  • Subject: Ireland | Discrimination | Diversity | Age | Disability | Family status | Gender | Marital status | Race/ethnic group | Religious belief | Sexual orientation | Travellers

Irish legislation prohibits discrimination in employment and service provision under nine grounds: age, disability, family status, gender, marital status, race/ethnic group/nationality, religious belief, sexual orientation, and membership of the Traveller community. This paper shows that despite the extensive equality legislative framework and “optimistic” perceptions of the general population about tolerance and openness, vulnerable populations continue to experience discrimination in their everyday lives. The unprecedented wave of immigration from different cultural and racial backgrounds during the economic boom have changed the face of Ireland. The term “diversity” has become part of the discourse of Government and private institutions as well as in the popular media in Irish society. This paper analyses the situation of people who are covered by the nine grounds of non-discrimination and provides an important context to understanding discrimination, equality and diversity in contemporary Ireland. It describes national strategies to implement equality in Ireland and the role of equality bodies, stakeholders and NGOs promoting equality and non-discrimination in Ireland.
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