Pontins’ unnecessary list was found to be illegal. Photo / Distribution, AP
The UK Equality Watchdog said on Tuesday that a network of holiday parks in the UK kept a list of “unwanted guests” with Irish family names to keep members of the Irish travel community away.
The list maintained by Pontins on the staff intranet page contains over 40 Irish names, including Cash, Delaney, Gallagher, Murphy and O’Brien. News from the list broke the I newspaper.
The UK Equality and Human Rights Commission said Pontins “directly discriminated against racism” by refusing to serve guests of a particular ethnic group. Bookings made by someone with an Irish name or accent are said to have been rejected or canceled by the staff.
Irish travelers are a traditionally nomadic group that differs from Gypsies or Roma. They are a recognized ethnic minority in Britain, many of whom have lived for generations and have long been discriminated against.
Alistair Pringle, executive director of the Equal Opportunity Committee, said: “It is difficult to compare the signs hanging on hotel windows 50 years ago with the signs that exclude Irish and blacks in particular.”
“It is discriminatory and illegal to exclude people from services because of their race,” he said. “It is a common idea to say that such guidelines are outdated.”
Jamie Davis, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said Pond’s behavior was “absolutely unacceptable.”
“No one in the UK should be discriminated against on the basis of race or ethnicity,” he said.
Launched in the 1940s, when overseas vacations were rare, Pontins offers affordable beach package tours including accommodation, food and entertainment. At its peak, there were about 30 Pontins locations in the UK, but only half a dozen are still operational.
Pontins owner Britannia Ginkgo Jersey Ltd has been announced by the Equal Opportunity Committee. Legally signed an agreement to end their discriminatory practices.
Britannia Ginkgo Jersey Ltd said in a statement that it has reached an agreement with the Equality and Human Rights Commission to further improve training and procedures for staff and to promote equality across the company.