British resorts accused of refusing bookings for people with Irish names, accents
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A chain of British resorts allegedly maintained an “undesirable guest list” of Irish surnames, according to a government anti-discrimination watchdog.

A whistleblower who contacted the U.K.’s Equality and Human Rights Commission said the list, used internally at the Pontins chain, includes last names such as Doherty, Gallagher, Murphy, Nolan, O’Brien and O’Connell.

The whistleblower told the watchdog it was used to specifically exclude Irish travelers and Roma people, according to Reuters.


The whistleblower told British newspaper The i that he was told to decline or cancel any bookings involving a name on the list.

“It is hard not to draw comparisons with an ‘undesirable guests’ list and the signs displayed in hotel windows 50 years ago, explicitly barring Irish people and Black people,” Alastair Pringle, executive director of the watchdog group, said in a statement, according to Reuters. “Banning people from services based on their race is discrimination and is unlawful. To say that such policies are outdated is an understatement.”

In a statement, Pontins parent company Britannia Jinky Jersey Ltd. said it has signed a legally binding agreement with the commission to prevent future recurrences of such practices.

“Britannia Jinky Jersey Limited has agreed to work together with the Equality and Human Rights Commission to further enhance its staff training and procedures in order to further promote equality throughout its business,” a spokesman for the company said in a statement.