The District Court in Dublin has begun hearing an action by the Equality Authority against one of the country's longest established golf clubs.

The Authority claims Portmarnock Golf Club, which is one of two exclusively male golf clubs in the Republic, discriminates against women by denying them membership.

The golf club claims it is not in breach of the Equal Status Act, and it has taken a separate High Court case, challenging the legislation.

If the District Court rules that the club is in breach of the act, it can suspend its certificate of registration - which will prevent it from selling alcohol - for 30 days.