A paralympian has spoken about his experience being refused entry to a Dublin restaurant because he was accompanied by his guide dog.
Martin Gordon claims he was told he could not be served inside the restaurant when he arrived at lunchtime last weekend with his partner, seven-year-old daughter and guide dog Juno.
Mr Gordon, who is blind, represented Ireland in the tandem para-cycling in the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020.
Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, he said he was told by the restaurant’s manager that there was a ‘no dogs’ policy in place.
Mr Gordon said he informed the host that this was contrary to the Equal Status Act, which he said he is very familiar with as he has used a guide dog for 20 years.
He claims he was told that there were no tables anyway and the best they could do was seat him outside.
He said it was a “humiliating experience” to have to plead his case in public.
Mr Gordon said this has happened a number of times before and he feels as though he has been having the same conversation for 20 years.
“It has happened regularly in the last year and I’ve had enough of it and speaking to other people, it’s a growing problem,” he said.
“It’s not just me, it’s people with wheelchairs, and I feel discrimination on any level is unacceptable.”
Mr Gordon said education is the best way forward, but anyone in any profession that involves interaction with the public should know the obligations.
He said he would pursue whatever avenue he could.
We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences