The Eyre Square Hotel in Galway has been ordered to pay €3,000 (£2,393) to two gay men by an Equality Tribunal.

 

Peter McGuffin and Enda Harte had organised a gay-friendly social event at the hotel for 5th June 2005, the Irish Times reports.

 

Mr McGuffin and Mr Harte told the tribunal that the manager of the Eyre Square Hotel told them, with little notice, that the social would not be taking place.

 

They claimed that this was because the owner of the hotel was angry that a gay-friendly event was to be held in his establishment.

 

The owner of Eyre Square Hotel was also proprietor of another Galway venue, the Victoria Hotel.

 

Though Mr McGuffin and Mr Harte persuaded the manager of the Eyre Square Hotel to go ahead with their event, the two were told a fortnight later that their regular Thursday night event at the Victoria Hotel would no longer be allowed.

 

The manager of the Victoria Hotel, they claimed, said that he had been told to cancel the regular slot as the owner had been ridiculed by others over holding gay-friendly events.

 

The owner of the hotels denied homophobic discrimination, and claimed that the events were cancelled as they were not profitable enough.

 

The equality officer investigating the complaints, however, found that the managers of both hotels had told Mr McGuffin and Mr Harte that their events were cancelled because of their link to the gay community, and that this was an attitude expressed by the owner.

 

The equality officer found that the event organisers were not given any financial reasons for the cancellation of their events at the time.

 

The Equality Tribunal ruled in favour of Mr Harte and Mr McGuffin, awarding €1,500 to each of them, and dictating that the hotels are to implement and uphold equality policies.