Rhonda Paisley to take DUP on over discrimination?

Just heard on Morning Ireland, but not yet out anywhere else. Apparently she’s taking the party (her father and other party officers) on alleged discrimination over a policy officer job.

Update: PA report here.

More Updates: Depth piece from Daviud Sharrock which takes a long look at family ties. Ructions in Unionism’s royal family? A wee bit tricky for the Doc?

  • aonghus

    RnaG news is carrying the story too.

  • cynical

    whereas she should have got the job because daddy runs the party?

  • Mick Fealty

    I’m not sure how you can make that stand up cynical, since she didn’t actually get the job. Are you arguing there is no such thing as discrimination against women in the job market?

  • George

    Good for Rhonda. If she has a case, she’s striking a blow for women’s equality in Northern Ireland and may wake up the DUP to its requirement to be an equal opportunities employer.

    She also took a case against the Arts Councils of NI and the Republic over her failed application for the post which involved co-operation between the two jurisdictions on arts activities. She won.

  • cynical

    Its precisely because I am a woman that I get irritated by people claiming they didn’t get this job or other because they are female. Phillip Weir who did get the job is much more qualified, this sounds like sour grapes.

    And by the way the Newsletter reported that she didn’t get the job because of her political opinions…..that sounds much more plausible

  • Mick Fealty

    We’ll have to wiat for that to come online. Any chance of cutting and pasting the relevant part?

  • steve48

    I thought the DUP only employed people who learned their trade in the UUP

  • cynical

    The story is front page of the Newsletter, a few selected exerpts below

    “Miss Paisley is alleging she did not get the job of policy officer at the partys headquarters because of her gender

    The post was advertised late last year and went to Craigavon councillor Phillip Weir.

    The case is listed with the Office of Industrial Tribunals and the Fair Employment tribunal in Belfast.

    Yesterday the tribunal office confirmed the case but said it was not yet listed for hearing”

    “The tribunal found that she had been discriminated against during her job interview on the basis of her political opinions”

  • George

    you are misunderstanding the issue of gender equality.

    This isn’t a question of whether Weir was the best person for the job, this is question of whether Rhonda Paisley’s application was given proper consideration or whether it wasn’t because of her gender.

    It doesn’t matter if Weir was the best person, if Paisley’s application wasn’t given due consideration because of her gender, she was discriminated against. Simple as that.

  • Good to hear there’s one rebel in the family 😉

  • cynical

    Phillip Weir is ex UUP

  • Animus

    So because you’re a woman cynical, you think that no woman is ever discriminated against on the basis of gender? Do you think it’s still acceptable that women earn only 80% of men’s wages?

    I don’t know the full details (nor does anyone else yet) but George is correct. The DUP has been on record in the past saying that ‘their women’ don’t want to take on political roles, etc. It should be clear how that sort of attitude may preclude due consideration being given to a woman applying for a policy officer job. I’m not implying that’s what happened at all, I’m merely pointing out how it could happen.

  • I spotted this story on breakingnews.ie and it’s heartening that misogyny makes such a cosy bedfellow for the usual bigotry.
    I’d echo the posts of George and Animus – it’s not because she’s a woman, it’s to do with being probably adjudged on her merit, and this being policy post may have been a contributing factor.

  • cynical

    I merely feel that whoever is best qualified for the job should get it whether they be female, male, black, white, catholic, protestant.

    I don’t doubt there is discrimination in the workplace but as I do not know many of the particulars in this case I feel it would be foolish to claim there is discrimination going on here. What is known about the case does not seem to validate her case for sexual discrimination. The Newsletter reported that she did not get the job because of her political views, not because she is a women. Thats a whole different kettle of fish so enough of the feminist ranting. Just because someone makes alot of noise doesn’t mean they are right.

  • Shore Road Resident

    So which is it – sex or politics?
    The BBC says sexual discrimination, the News Letter says political discrimination.

  • Animus

    Pointing out the inadequacies of your argument is hardly ‘feminist ranting,’ cynical. I think we all agree that the best candidate should get the job. And we all agree that the facts have yet to come to light. But how do we know the best candidate gets the job if we decide that certain types just wouldn’t be able to cut the mustard?

    You’re missing the point Cynical – being a woman doesn’t mean you have an understanding of discrimination or equality issues. As you readily admit, we don’t know the particulars of the case, but you’re still prepared to claim that there is no case for gender discrimination. Certainly I was raising a possibility for how it might happen, not a definite judgement.

  • Butterknife

    Its nice to know that the DUP believes in equality between gays and women, even if its equal discrimination;0)


    This is bizzare, what with the recent news that Paul Berry is employing the services of Madden and Finucane in his fight against disciplinary action by the DUP.

    We should start taking bets on who will take the next case against the DUP.

  • cynical

    “you’re still prepared to claim that there is no case for gender discrimination”

    I’m not, I just feel that it does not seem likely in this case and it really does look like a case of a bleating daughter whining because having a daddy in charge of a party did not get her a job in it.

    I think its a positive thing that the DUP are not recruiting its members offspring to run the party. An alarmingly high number of their employees seem to be family members ie. the Robinson dynasty

  • Animus

    I’m with you there Cynical – the Robinson dynasty is ridiculous. I think Rhonda is brave to take a case, because she will be laughed at. But on first judgement, the fact that someone has experience working in the party would not get due consideration is not great. That said, you can make the point grid work whatever way you want if you decide as a group to set it up that way. I know of a few organisations which have done just that and it’s notoriously difficult to prove otherwise if the panel has decided amongst themselves.

  • fair_deal


    “Good to hear there’s one rebel in the family ;)”

    The Scottish Covenant
    The Glorious Revolution
    The 1798 Rebellion (we did most of the actual rebelling)
    1st 2nd and most especially 3rd Home Rule Crises
    The UWC strike
    (Plus a contribution to things like the American revolution and the famous ‘Whiskey’ rebellion)

    Rebelliousness its a Ulster Prod thing 😉

  • Tandragee Loyal

    About time someone blew the whistle on what has been going on inside the party. Robinson has shipped in all these ex official unionist whizz kids and given them well paid jobs. The long serving party members have had enough and have stayed silent long enough.

    The Paisley V Paisley legal aspect is not the issue, and is being overblown by the media. This is a fight for the heart and soul of the DUP.

  • steve48

    Mr McCrea has appointed his son Stephen to run his office (sorry to sit in the room he is renting in Wilson Clyde’s office). Seemingly none of the DUP’s members in South Antrim was good enough for our Wullie.

  • Butterknife

    This is just a thought but if nepotism was considered at the interview stage and the interviewers decided in not giving her the job to prove a point – they have no favourites – then is this not (indirect) discrimination as this criteria is not related to her ability to do the job?

  • George


    It could be true that she wasn’t the best candidate the job, it could be true that her political opinions excluded her but if she can show that the DUP isn’t an equal opportunities employer and failed to process her application fairly then she wins, and rightly so.

    Saying something like “She wouldn’t have got the job anyway” isn’t a defence. In fact, that is discrimination in the extreme, pre-empting the employment procedure before it begins.

    She’s “just bleating” is your view, which has no basis in fact and therefore has to be ignored. Unless you can back up that statement?

    Where has she bleated about Daddy not getting her a job? I have heard no such thing.

    Everyone, including women and the party leader’s daughter, deserve an honest and independent appraisal of their capabilities when applying for a job.

    If this didn’t happen, then she was discriminated against and the DUP must answer for it.

    Also, it could be argued that the very fact that there does “appear” to be nepotism in the DUP would indicate that its employment procedure is discriminatory and that Rhonda Paisley is right to take the case, not that the DUP was right to discriminate against her.

    You can’t have arbitrary decision-making when it comes to employing people.

    I find it disturbing that you think such a thing is positive.

  • grassrootsDUP

    “The Paisley V Paisley legal aspect is not the issue, and is being overblown by the media. This is a fight for the heart and soul of the DUP. ”

    Damned right, DUP HQ is chock full of UUP rejects. Why are they hiring so many people from the party of failure?


    I don’t see why people are complaning about the Robinsons since both were elected through a fair and open ballot.

    Unless someone wants to take the unionist electorate to a fair employment tribunal?

  • Butterknife

    A few years back there was talk of the DUP diverging into two strands: one following Paisley and the ‘No Surrender’ policies; the other following Robinson and the New-DUP type. I think Tandragee Loyal et al. may have a point in that people do not like others jumping the metaphoric queue and being ex-UUP or more specifically the old UUP ‘baby barristers’ is especially painful. This may be the start of an interesting time for the DUP.

  • Traditional unionist

    In the News Letters list of DUP Party Officers one B Berry came up. Interesting…..

  • yerman

    Why is it that some people thing she is taking the DUP up on political discrimination – there is no report of that, in the Newsletter or anywhere else. The political discrimination was in her case against the Arts Council.

    Also btw, she is claiming discrimination on grounds of her gender – it has yet to be proved or disproved. Interesting to see that everyone here is apparently well enough informed about the details of the case as to be able to pass judgement on the basis of a newspaper article.

    I would be surprised if anyone in the DUP is particularly happy about the case – no matter what they think about the merits of the case. For those reasons I would take the comments of ‘grassroots DUP’ and ‘Tandragee Loyal’ with a large pinch of salt (less than 6grams of course or the Government wont be happy).

  • yerwomen


    Do yourself a favour and read todays newsletter, they mentioned as indeed it is mentioned on this thread that it was found Miss Paisley was discriminated against on account of her political views.

  • BooBoo

    Robinson doesn’t want any “outsiders” in what his (rather than the party’s) policy unit.

    Weir is just another Donaldson groupie, brought in by Robinson—along with quite a few other former Young Unionists—to bolster the team who believe in cutting a deal with Sinn Fein. This has nothing to do with gender or experience. It’s simply a matter of adding to the ranks of Peter’s Friends.

    Two court cases in quick succession for the DUP. Having stolen the UUP’s policy clothes are they now stealing their internal stupidities?

  • Posted by fair_deal on Nov 16, 2005 @ 01:07 PM * The 1798 Rebellion (we did most of the actual rebelling) *

    There’re a lot of people in Wexford who might dispute that altho what might be best remembered of 1798 and the activities around your direction might be the hanging of poor ol’ Roddy Mc on at the bridge.

    Nowadays, what’s most remembered of 1798 is the consolidation of the OO in response to the rebellion and the subsequent admittance of Dissenters to the OO as a foil to the Nationalists – hence the sectarianization / Balkanization of the sick counties.

  • Animus

    I wasn’t talking about the Robinsons, Mr and Mrs, but the legions of family members they employ to run their empire. I know it’s allowed as elected reps to hire your own staff, but it still stinks of nepotism.

  • Traditional Unionist

    “Damned right, DUP HQ is chock full of UUP rejects. Why are they hiring so many people from the party of failure?”

    Grassroots DUP – Did these ‘UUP rejects’ not transform the DUP into what it is now and resign the UUP to be the ‘party of failure’??

  • Butterknife

    One good thing about the UUP losing out to the DUP, and that is all the rats abandened ship for the DUP and it seems the de facto captain has awarded them well. No wonder the UUP are in limbo with the DUP seducing middle Northern Ireland (sic) with their New-DUP policies. Trimble may be dead but Trimblism lives on …

  • Butterknife


    Ms Paisley applied for the post, which went to Philip Weir, a Portadown doctor who was elected to Craigavon Council.

    If this is the same man who was successful for the post then i am not she is complaining!

  • Butterknife,

    As a unionsit who is glad to see a more progressive DUP i.e. powersharing with all democrats, I can assure you that the DUP hasn’t adopted Trimblism which was trumpeted by dishonest and dishonourable unionist representives that screwed up every negotiation they were involved in.

  • Butterknife

    Paul P That must include Sinn Fein.

  • Jo

    I have a piece on this on JOBLOG. I’d welcome a lawyer’s view on my observation that failure to adhere to procedural issues is a major factor in arriving at findings of discrimination.

  • traditional unionist

    The second traditional unionist is an imposter – I did not post that!!

  • Ginfizz

    “Damned right, DUP HQ is chock full of UUP rejects. Why are they hiring so many people from the party of failure”

    Yes God forbid the DUP should actually have become an appealing place for people on the centre-right of Unionism – its should have reamined the preserve of the mad mullah tendancy, constantly snapping at the heels of the UUP, constantly in second place. Wise up.

  • Don’t worry ‘Traditional [sic] Unionist nos. 1′, for all of us *real* UU TRads, you’ll always be the original imposter.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “the activities around your direction might be the hanging of poor ol’ Roddy Mc on at the bridge.”

    er.. that wouldn’t be the Presbyterian Roddy McCorley then? Oops- Niall OG.

  • lastman

    Out of all the women in the DUP, I think she is among those who have the least to complain about in terms of discrimination.

    Having said that, if it highlights archaic gender dynamics within the party then in principle it is a good thing.

  • Ginfizz


    “archaic gender dynamics”? Every political party in the Western world can be accused of that in one way or another. Wind your neck in.

  • lastman

    I think you know what I mean, Ginfizz.

    My comment was not meant as a dig at the DUP specifically, it’s just because they are the party in question here.

  • traditional unionist

    thanks karl, i love you too

  • Posted by darth rumsfeld on Nov 16, 2005 @ 05:39 PM
    * er.. that wouldn’t be the Presbyterian Roddy McCorley then? Oops- Niall OG. *
    when I mentioned RMcC I was agreeing with fair_deal, I was however disputing the prominence of Antrim as opposed to Wexford in 1798. OG, my arse!

    Maybe if I tried to type things in black and white and request readers actually read what’s written …!?!? Then maybe, just maybe, some (that’s you, darth) would understand what’s being addressed rather than what they like to think is being addressed / said.

  • Marty J

    I’m always interested in how people know so much about the decision making processes of their prospective employers to be able to make accusations of discrimination. I’ve lost out on jobs to women many times (jobs that would be considered by many to be “women’s jobs”, e.g secertary, PA, etc), and it never crossed my mind that I didn’t get them because I was a man. I always just assumed that someone more suited to the job and more qualified was appointed instead. Did Big Ian tell Rhonda she didn’t get it because she was a woman, or what?

    Opens up some interesting questions. No one would disagree (I hope) that a job should go to the most qualified person (so called “positive discrimination” aside), but what makes someone qualified for a political position? As the (mostly female) electorate seem to elect males over females, is someone justified on recruiting on these grounds?

  • I have no idea why she didn’t get the job, but Cynical’s assumption that she’s only “bleating” because “Daddy” didn’t hire her is one of the most sexist things I’ve heard in a long time.

  • Tiny

    In the past a political party finding itself being sued by a prominient member while an MLA goes to court over an internal disclipinary matter would have been greeted with riddicule, how times change!

  • Mick Fealty


  • Butterknife

    She got a mention on Radio 2 this morning.

  • seabhac siulach

    Bigot, sectarian, homophobic…and now sexist…is there no end ‘Dr.’Paisley’s talents…unionism, be proud…

  • Butterknife


    The editor’s choice in The Times no else!

  • interested

    Thats actually a really interesting article in the Times, well researched and written,

    Just shows the superiority of journalism on the mainland!

  • Butterknife

    It is amazing what an absence of lazyiness will do when writing an article.

  • interestedreader

    go on the rhonda, do people know she has written a book? Apparently a fluffy piece of fiction but members of her family are clearly used in the characters.

  • Butterknife

    I do not think this claim is for book PR only lol

  • Butterknife

    How did Ian Paisley become a ‘DR’?

    Did he know or should he have been aware of the policy of the university that gave him this honour. If the former is he not guilty of indirect racial discrimination and if the latter, and he is now aware of it then should he not be more so today for using that ‘DR’ title. It is time the 21st century Unionist wakes up and get a 21st century politician!

  • Mick

    New links above Butterknife.

  • seabhac siulach


    “It is time the 21st century Unionist wakes up and get a 21st century politician!”

    Or even one from the 20th century…
    17th century attitudes to women (okay as long as they keep quiet it seems), gays (okay as long as the massages are for party members in Belfast hotels but otherwise furiously condemned), the Catholic church (heretics, purple whore of Rome, etc.)…all part of the modern charm of the largest unionist party…

    Be proud, unionists. Such progressiveness…wonderful…

    Didn’t Paisley get his ‘doctorate’ from a Christmas cracker or some such…

  • Butterknife

    Indeed, there was an excellent on BBC2 a few nights ago which was a repeat: (of course)
    Guy is a freak of nature that is a genuine genius.
    But maybe the DUP should adopt Atheism as its religion (sic) lol

    I asked a member of the UUP why he remained in that party … because i fear the DUP more. What a negative thing to say.

  • interestedreader

    “I do not think this claim is for book PR only lol ”

    haha, no, apparently it came out a few years ago. Just with this story around a colleague mentioned it!

    Paisley got his doctorate from Bob Jones university in the USA. Its mission statement is

    “Within the cultural and academic soil of liberal arts education, Bob Jones University exists to grow Christlike character that is Scripturally disciplined; others-serving; God-loving; Christ-proclaiming; and focused Above.”

    am saying nothing…..