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Athena Swan snub a blow for NUIG Equality charade – Ó Clochartaigh

31 July, 2015


The fact that NUIG has been snubbed in its application for recognition in an international equality awards programme once more calls into question the handling of serious staffing  issues in the college, according to Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.

The Sinn Féin Galway West – South Mayo Senator says today:

‘In their defence of their handling of complaints about gender inequality, NUIG consistently cited the fact that they were hoping to receive recognition from the Athena Swan award programme. Their efforts have not succeeded, as we hear that only two Irish higher education institutions were successful in their applications for a bronze award, Trinity College and the University of Limerick. Four other unnamed applicants were turned down.

‘I understand that observations on behalf of staff about ongoing Gender Equality issues in the college were made to Athena Swan in relation to the NUIG application and that these may have had some bearing on the decision.

‘The management appointed Task Force which the university set up to review these issues does not have the support of unions or staff representatives who have refused to engage with it and have called for an independent inquiry to be held into claims that a culture of Gender Inequality is widespread in the University.

‘The fact that the University management refuse to acknowledge that their approach to addressing the issues is flawed is a huge part of the problem here.

‘I am even being told that senior management have instructed their marketing and press offices not to forward certain communications to media outlets that have carried pieces which have been critical of its approach to these gender equality issues. If that is true it is a sign that they wish to silence voices who are critical of the approach they are taking and in my view this is totally unacceptable.

‘I call on the Minister for Education to reconsider her decision not to use her powers under the Universities Act 1997 to institute such an investigation in light of this new blow to the approach taken by senior management at NUIG.’

Diúltú Athena Swan mar bhuille do shearáidí cothromaíochta OÉG – Ó Clochartaigh

Ardaíonn teip iarratais Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh ar aitheantas a fháil ó chlár idirnáisiúnta duaiseanna cothromaíochta ceisteanna tromchúiseacha arís eile maidir le cur chuige an choláiste sin maidir le láimhseáil ceisteanna pearsanra áirithe sa gcoláiste, dar leis an Seanadóir, Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.

Deir Seanadóir Ghaillimh Thiar – Maigh Eo Theas inniu:

‘Arís agus arís eile, nuair a bhí OÉG ag iarraidh iad féin a chosaint ar líomhaintí maidir le gearáin atá déanta ó thaobh cothromaíocht inscne di, luafaidís go raibh siad ag lorg aitheantais ó chlár aitheantais Athena Swan.  Níor éirigh lena gcuid iarrachtaí, mar cloiseann muid nár bronnadh an duais cré umha ach ar dhá institiúid ardoideachais in Éirinn, Coláiste na Tríonóide agus Ollscoil Luimnigh. Diúltaíodh iarratais ó cheithre iarrthóir eile nach n-ainmnítear.

‘Tuigtear dom gur cuireadh tuairimí chun cinn thar ceann na fóirne chuig Athena Swan maidir le h-iarratas OÉG ó thaobh na ceisteanna leanúnacha atá ann maidir le Cúrsaí Inscne sa gcoláiste agus go bhféadfadh sé go raibh baint acu sin leis an gcinneadh a glacadh.

‘Níl tacaíocht ag an Tascfhórsa a cheap bainistíocht na hOllscoile féin ó cheardchumainn, ná ionadaithe fóirne, atá ag diúltú comhoibriú leo agus iad ag lorg fiosrúchán neamhspleách maidir leis na líomhaintí atá ann go bhfuil Éagcothromaíocht Inscne forleathan san Ollscoil.

‘Cuid mhór den fhadhb anseo ná go bhfuil bainistíocht na hOllscoile ag diúltú glacadh leis go bhfuil cur chuige fabhtach acu chun dul i ngleic leis na deacrachtaí atá tagtha chun cinn.

‘Táthar fiú ag rá liom go bhfuil treoir tugtha ag an ardbhainistíocht don fhoireann margaíochta agus preasa gan comhfhreagras áirithe a chur chuig áisíneachtaí meáin áirithe a thug clúdach do mhíreanna a bhí criticiúil faoi OÉG maidir lena gcur chuige ar na ceisteanna cothromaíocht inscne seo. Má tá sin fíor, is comhartha a bheadh ann go bhfuil siad ag iarraidh glórtha atá criticiúil faoin gcur chuige atá acu a choinneáil ina dtost  agus ní bheadh aon ghlacadh agam leis sin.

‘Tá mé ag iarraidh ar an Aire Oideachas arís eile, ath-mhachnamh a dhéanamh ar a cinneadh gan a cuid cumhachtaí  faoi Achtanna na hOllscoile 1997 a úsáid chun fiosrúchán neamhspleách a ghairm faoin gcás seo, i bhfianaise an buille is déanaí seo ó thaobh cur chuige ardbhainistíocht OÉG.’

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