Rhonda Wins Job Bias Battle; Arts Council to Pay out Pounds 24,000

By O'connor, Julie | The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), July 30, 1998 | Go to article overview

Rhonda Wins Job Bias Battle; Arts Council to Pay out Pounds 24,000


O'connor, Julie, The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland)


RHONDA Paisley has won her three-year battle with the Arts Council after it was found they had discriminated against her because of her ''religious beliefs and political opinions''.

Miss Paisley, the daughter of DUP leader Ian Paisley, was yesterday awarded more than pounds 24,000 after she suffered unlawful discrimination when she applied for a job with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Speaking yesterday she said she was ''delighted'' at the judgment but said it gave her no pleasure to have been in dispute with the Arts Council for three years.

''I think there is definitely a great discrimination against the Protestant culture within the arts in Northern Ireland,'' she said.

''I think people in key positions are not interested in the Northern Ireland aspects of culture within this island.

''And it is my sincere hope that this finding will encourage others involved in the Arts to challenge and pursue those who are in positions to control appointments and decide funding when it is apparent that discrimination is rife in their ranks.''

The Fair Employment Tribunal in Belfast said Miss Paisley was discriminated against because of her ''religious beliefs and political opinions'' when she was not given the job of cross-border arts co-operation officer - a post jointly appointed by the arts councils in Ulster and Eire.

Miss Paisley, a former Democratic Unionist Party Belfast city councillor who served a term as Lady Mayoress, took action when she failed to get the job - which went to a Roman Catholic - three years ago. …

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