The upscale Portmarnock Golf Club, located in northwest Dublin, announced on Thursday that it has removed a rule in force since its founding 127 years ago and will finally admit women as full members.
According to a statement from the management, 83.4% of the current members, all men, voted in favor of a change in this sexist and discriminatory regulation, compared to 16.6% who still prefer that the club be only composed of ” gentlemen”.
Rule 3 of its statutes established that the “club will be made up” of “members and associate members who must be gentlemen” duly “elected” and who “will follow the rules as fans.”
After the aforementioned vote, the words “who should be gentlemen” will disappear from that paragraph, those responsible confirmed today, at the same time that they were “eager to welcome women as members.”
“Consequently, the rules and statutes of the club will be, from now on, neutral with respect to gender, which represents a positive development for this club with a long and distinguished history,” they added in the note.
The Portmarnock Golf Club is known for having hosted the Irish Open several times, but had also gained a negative reputation for its unique membership policy.
The Confederation of Golf of Ireland (CGI, its acronym in English) said today that this change in regulations represents a “great step forward”, as there are still clubs in this country that only admit male members.
Anne McCormack, director of CGI, celebrated that “Irish golf” is making progress towards becoming a “more modern and inclusive” sport and stressed that the decision taken by Portmarnock “has been taken by themselves”.
McCormack thus referred to the fact that the Irish Supreme Court granted Portmarnock in 2009 the right to deny women full membership in its sports and recreational facilities.
Until now, women paid an annual fee and had access to most facilities but, for example, could only play golf in Portmarnock at certain times.
In that ruling, the president of the Court of Justice, Hugh Geoghegan, considered that the club offered “external activities”, such as golf, but that its main reason for being was to offer recreational services to men, in the manner of a “sports club. gentlemen”.
In this sense, McCormack recognized today that Golf Ireland, the body that governs this sport on the island, cannot force the clubs to change their rules, although “it is trying to generate changes.”
Thus, more than 200 golf clubs in this country have signed a bill of rights drawn up by Golf Ireland aimed at promoting an “inclusive golf culture”, committing themselves to having at least 30% women on their executive committees .