Ask A Broadsheet Reader


A [unnamed] restaurant has been ordered to pay €20,000 in compensation to a gay bar manager after a director called him ‘queer’ almost every day at work.

In the case before the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), the bar manager gave a number of examples of being subject to offensive comments from his two bosses.

‘Director A’ uttered the vast majority of comments to the bar manager. WRC Adjudication Officer Marian Duffy said: “I cannot comprehend how senior managers in a workplace would consider it acceptable to call such offensive names or make such offensive comments to a gay man.”

Restaurant must pay €20,000 to gay bar manager called ‘queer’ (Irish Times)

Some Old Queen asks:

Why all the secrecy [about naming the restaurant]?



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66 thoughts on “Ask A Broadsheet Reader

  1. The Old Boy

    S.41 (14) of the Workplace Relations Act 2015, which created and regulates the conduct of the Commission, prevents it from publishing anything which might identify parties to a dispute.

    1. garthicus

      Interesting, however the WRC archives has plenty of cases where one or both parties are named. I wonder what constitutes naming/non-naming?

      1. The Old Boy

        There doesn’t appear to be anything in the Act preventing a party to a case from identifying themselves, or indeed the other party. It’s just the official reports that will be anonymised, but as the hearings are in private, they are the basis for most reportage.

      2. Joe Small

        They could be older cases. Also, if a case is appealed to the Labour Court, the parties will be named. The anonymity was controversial at the time.

  2. bisted

    …so the ‘q’ in the acronym lgtbq stands for ‘queen’…everyday a school day…I’ll make a voluntary donation to charity for thinking the offensive q-word…

      1. postmanpat

        That’s where I first heard of it on 30 Rock I think, years ago. But everyone says its “Queer” now so WTF? (why the face)

        1. Rob_G

          There’s plenty of contexts where it is fine to use the word ‘queer’ – an employer using it address one of his employees is not one of these contexts.

          1. Rob_G

            Actually, maybe the bar in question is in Cavan, and the director is suffering an injustice.

            “Jaysus, he’s quare hard-working, that fella”.

    1. George

      The term queer as an adjective in some contexts doesn’t give anyone the right to call anyone else a “queer”. If you want learn about appropriate use of the term go do some reading.

  3. Spaghetti Hoop

    That’s fair enough. The manager has a right to get on with his life after this case. Well done to him, I add. Always stand up to bullying or harassment in the workplace.

    1. SOQ


      In fairness it won’t take the gays long to figure it out. They’re like a heat seeking missile with this sort of thing.

      1. Spaghetti Hoop

        Once ‘figured’, do you predict a backlash of some sort against the director, or worse still the restaurant? Or just a show of support to the manager – despite his wishes perhaps for anonymity?

        1. George

          “Worse still”? Boycotting a restaurant owned by two people who give their staff homophobic abuse seems perfectly reasonable especially as they refer to their customers as “queers” too.

          1. SOQ

            Exactly. Armed with the facts, people are perfectly entitled to spend their money where they wish. And if I knew that there was the potential for some clown sneering at himself and I, we would not be giving them our business.

            No big boycott, just swiftly moving on.

          2. Spaghetti Hoop

            I didn’t mention boycotting. I thought perhaps something more sinister was suggested when SOQ mentioned ‘heat-seeking missile’. Whatevers. I just think the law is the best approach to these disputes rather than adding fuel to the fires of homophobia.

          3. George

            The heat sinking missile referred to was not a real missile it was a metaphor referring to how easily people would figure out which restaurant it was.

            What reason is there to think there would be any kind of vigilante activity? I have never heard of this happening to other businesses such as Daintree paper who were boycotted.

          4. millie st murderlark

            What happened with Daintree, George?

            I used to love going in there when I was a student and had buckets of time for procrastinating.

          5. SOQ

            Interesting how a perfect harmless saying like ‘heat seeking missile’ is perceived as some sort of code for a gay militia?

            Mind you, the threat of a gay militia would have been very useful in some of the places I have worked in.

          6. Cian

            Ah now. You can’t honestly say the ‘heat sealing missile’ is harmless. It is literally an offensive weapon.

    2. AssPants


      I worked in a bar for a couple of years and didn’t get on with a colleague.

      He taunted me for about a month.

      I went behind the bar one day after boiling over with fury and punched him to the floor.

      Never a problem again.

      Didn’t need anybody else to sort the matter out, took on my own problems. This lark with tip toeing around words; Monday you can say “x”; come Friday that same phrase is now a criminal offense will only lead to more and more cases of the weak and delicate seeking out offense at matters that don’t actually “matter”.

        1. AssPants

          I know it’s great; isn;t it……

          It’s snowflakes like you, who have to run around and tell somebody…..”somebody called me a name and made me cry”, that endorses this pathetic society where we all walk on eggshells to protect you and your ilk.

      1. Rob_G

        Why did Maurice McCabe put himself and his family through all that hardship; he should have just gone up to the Commissioner and punched him…

        1. AssPants

          Exactly…..Would have saved millions in tax payers money!

          Except Mr McCabe was been accused of child molesting, had his family threatened and nearly lost his own children at the hands of the state.

          Sounds like a little more than name calling once a day, doesn’t it?

          Oh and as somebody else mentioned above LGBTQ – What is the Q for again?

          1. Rob_G

            I know; also his situation was a real one, and not an apocryphal internet hardman fairytale…

  4. Brian

    My understanding is that the parties in WRC cases remain anonymous unless there is an appeal to the Labour Court in which case both parties are named.

  5. edalicious

    How is it that a director of a GAY BAR would be so tone deaf when interacting with his gay staff?!

    A homophobic gay bar director sounds like the premise of a sitcom.

    1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      Eh, I think you misread it. He’s a gay bar manager, not the manager of a gay bar.
      I think!

      1. edalicious

        Ha! I sure did. The story is not much better but makes a whole lot more sense now.

    2. George

      Not a gay bar. The director is quoted as saying “did you see that other pair of queers”.

  6. eoin

    This is Ireland, not Manhattan. If this takes more than five minutes to identify the complainant and the business, I will be shocked.

    Complainant was employed as a bar manager, married recently [in 2017] and bought a house, drives or drove a red Mercedes, engaged as bar manager on 7 November 2016 and made redundant in January 2018.

    Bar/restaurant which employed 51 staff around 2016, now reduced to 30. The restaurant has a separate bar area. The restaurant is owned and managed by a company which has four directors, one director is not involved in day-to-day management but has an office nearby.

    All details above from the complaint and decision, available here.

    1. eoin

      Nice people, allegedly “On the night of the Christmas party when the Complainant returned a scarf he had borrowed from Director B, he (Director B) made a comment “…I hope I don’t catch the gay off the scarf…”.. He[the complainant] frequently told Director A to stop [calling him “queer”] but he didn’t and persisted in calling him “queer” almost every day. “

      1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

        We should definitely have a Straight Pride march. I dunno what they’re complaining about.

        1. SOQ

          Feel free to have a straight pride- there won’t be many at it because every day is straight pride.

          1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

            It’d probably be pretty boring to be honest. Not much different than a street on any other day.

          1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

            Ah COME ON! Do I have to do a ;P after every one of these from now on?

    2. eoin

      Ah COME ON!

      A married [there’ve only been 700-odd by the time in 2017] gay bar manager driving a red Mercedes who’d recently bought a house?

      If it helps any, there’s a suggestion the red Mercedes was a convertible [“The Complainant said that when he bought a red Mercedes car, Director A said that “it’s a lovely queer car” and “all you need now is a nice scarf and you’ll be a proper queer driving around”.]

      Methinks some people on here are not as gay as they make themselves out to be. Either that or the gay community is not as close-knit as they make out.

      1. SOQ

        Some gay people are a community, some not. Consider it to be a held politic where if you rouse one, you rouse all. This guy was obviously a bit of a flash character but that doesn’t mean he was wrong to take the case, just that he could afford to do it.

        But, there are plenty of others who can’t. What is your answer to them Eoin? What is your answer to the gay first out the door when redundancy is imminent?

        Please reply.

        1. eoin

          SOQ, I was just commenting on the fact you’d expect it would be easy to ID the complainant and the bar/restaurant from the jigsaw of facts given in the complaint.

          Was the guy right to sue. Damned right he was, and I’m sorry he didn’t take them for more. I would actively boycott the place if it’s identified.

          1. SOQ

            Soz Eion, the mad angry lesbians have all moved to Derry- despite the warning that Derry was over the quota already.

  7. George

    Not a gay bar. The director is quoted as saying “did you see that other pair of queers?” referring to two gay customers in the place. He wouldn’t say that if the entire clientele was gay.

  8. Bebe

    I suppose @andyourpointiswhatexactly your sexual preference is not paraded and commented on at every opportunity and none at your workplace – difficult to understand if you’re joking or not. Would avoid this bar if I knew where it was – don’t want to support any establishment that continues to bully its staff members after the issue is raised with them. Shows a distinct lack of respect towards their employee. Glad they were penalized and hopefully lesson learned but I wouldn’t bank on it. Some people never learn and think it’s fun to ridicule another – describing it as ‘harmless banter’ in such cases.

    1. Brother Barnabas

      side note: if you’re paying attention, you’ll know that I actually do comment on andyourpointiswhatexactly’s sexual preferences at every opportunity

  9. A Person

    €50k for being called a name. Compo culture, this country is full of it. If it was a politician, then there would be war. Don’t agree in either instance, but 50k? ffs.

        1. A Person

          Sorry a typo, but I’d say it was more than 50 when the costs were taken into account. Regardless, the point remains, a hell of a lot of money for name calling. It’s absolute nonsense. How come nobody is calling this out as compo culture gone mad??? Sorry I forgot, this is a “right on” website. We only get outrageous over supposedly right wing politicians, boycotting places we don/t like, the homeless (even if we do nothing about it) etc.

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