Women want equal rights to become full members of golf clubs in Ireland.
The Golfing Union of Ireland (GUI) is an all male association that runs golf in Ireland. Sub-section 3 of clause 9 in its constitution excludes from the GUI any club which allows women to attend or to vote at its general meetings.
Marguerite Martin is Chairperson of an all Ireland action group Women in Golf, trying to change the GUI laws so women can vote, be on committees and influence how golf clubs are to develop.
Discrimination on the grounds of sex is extremely invidious because sex is immutable and we are discriminated against by virtue of what we are at birth.
President of the GUI Michael Fitzpatrick does not think rule 9 poses any real obstacle to women as they can access all the facilities in the golf club. He has inherited rule 9 and if women want it revoked, they can
Influence their men to change the rules in their clubs or would request that this rule be deleted from the constitution of the Golfing Union of Ireland.
Many women are happy with the situation but of those who are not, few are willing to talk openly about being discriminated against in case of a backlash. Golfers Kitty Quinn and Betty Gallagher are two women prepared to talk about rule 9.
Kitty Quinn believes having a specific rule in the GUI constitution preserves male dominance and is totally unjustifiable. For Betty the rule is an anachronism and has no place in modern society.
A ‘Today Tonight’ report was broadcast on 14 February 1984.