A Government minister has said he is ‘angered and saddened’ to hear a British holiday park was operating a ‘blacklist’ of Irish names.
INews reports that Pontins Holiday Park near Liverpool had a list of 40 Irish names that were unwelcome in the park.
The list was uploaded to the Pontins intranet under the heading ‘undesirable guests’
“We have been informed by our operations director that we do not want these guests in our parks,” the notification reads.
“Please watch out for the following names for any future bookings.”
An investigation by the UKs Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found that the park was using the list as part of a “discriminatory booking policy that excluded Gypsies and Travellers.”
EHRC's Alastair Pringle said: “It is hard not to draw comparisons with an ‘undesirable guests’ list and the signs displayed in hotel windows fifty years ago, explicitly barring Irish people and Black people.
"Banning people from services based on their race is discrimination and is unlawful. To say that such policies are outdated is an understatement."
Pontins owner Britannia Jinky Jersey has agreed to work with the EHRC to "further enhance its staff training and procedures in order to further promote equality throughout its business".
This both angers and saddens me. As a child, my family and I holidayed in Pontins many times. Childhood memories of a happy place and good times all now replaced by a sense of disgust that such prejudice would exist. Had hoped those days were gone https://t.co/JJdHRkIZBp
— Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) March 2, 2021
In a tweet today, the Minister for Further Education Simon Harris said the reports ‘both anger and sadden me.’
“As a child, my family and I holidayed in Pontins many times,” he said.
“Childhood memories of a happy place and good times all now replaced by a sense of disgust that such prejudice would exist. Had hoped those days were gone.”