Siblings lose in NUI Galway religious discrimination claim

Four Mayo siblings have lost a legal action they took against the National University of Ireland, Galway, claiming they were victims of discrimination, because of their religious beliefs.

Isaac and Enoch Burke, along with their sisters Kezia and Ammi, claimed the university had discriminated against them, when they were banned from being members of all college student societies in 2014.

All four are members of the Christian Union Society. The society held meetings and events at the college and had 127 members in 2014.

Mr Justice Raymond Groarke delivered his judgment in the case at the Circuit Court in Galway yesterday, following a three-day hearing last month.

Acknowledging that the sanction imposed by the university authorities was severe, Mr Justice Groarke said they were entitled to take such action.

He pointed out that there were many procedural flaws in the process undertaken by NUI Galway, but added, while there were absences of fair and proper procedures, these were not motivated by religious antipathy.

In addition, he said the rules “deficient and all as they were, applied equally to all members of the student body”.