Friday, January 25, 2008

No Catholics Need Apply

It's all peace and harmony in Northern Ireland since 1998, when the Good Friday agreement was signed. Hillary Clinton's gotten the backing of several Irish politicians for the role that Bill played in bringing the Provies and the Protties together.

Pity that no one thought to tell the UDA about the peace. They managed to get a couple of Catholic hotel managers sacked on the grounds of religion in 2005, long after sectarianism was declared dead.

Days Hotel in Belfast is within stone-throwing distance of Sandy Row, where Catholics most definitely do not tread. Riccardo Cafolla and Stephen Mooney worked as managers of the hotel, and you'd think that a man's religion would have nothing to do with his job managing a hotel. The Ulster Defense crew thought differently.

Hotel managers have to discipline staff on occasion, and on at least one occasion, the slacker was Protestant and he or she went on to complain to the UDA about the treatment. How dare a Papist criticize a Free Presbyterian?

A rumor was spread that the Catholic general manager was out to cleanse the hotel of all Protestants, and the next thing the hotel owners knew, their place of business was targeted. That sort of thing being bad for business, Andras House Ltd. decided to get rid of its Catholic managers, thereby appeasing the UDA and putting an end to the attacks. Brilliant solution, is it not?

As it turns out, it wasn't a good idea at all. The Fair Employment Tribunal has ordered Andras House Ltd., owners of Days Hotel, to compensate Mr. Carolla and Mr. Mooney. The tribunal pointed out that it was unjustified to fire the Catholic managers rather than the Protestant employee who was making all the trouble. Putting an end to one employee's vendetta was not grounds for dismissal.

Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness have been on the road, hoping to drum up business for Northern Ireland. Sectarianism, unfortunately, is not good for business.

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