PORTMARNOCK Golf Club - A Stroke of Snobbery
PORTMARNOCK Golf Club's executive has just passed through the traumatic exxperience of an election (almost unprecedented) to fill commmittee posts, although the same faces appear again on the Committee. It was not too democratic an experience as the club, built on the land of more than one hundred evicted fishermen at the turn of the century, has no women members Women cannot become members of Portmarnock. They cannot even enter the bar as guests of a member. Invited women can play on the fabled links on one week-day, but they must step aside and let members play past them if asked to do so.
For the wealthy, sexist lawyers, doctors, bishops and politicians of Portmarnock, such a concession is almost too radical. Accordingly they make it almost impossible for the intrepid women golfer who dares play on her alllotted day.
There are ample changing and washing facilities for menfolk. But women are allotted only a cramped sideeroom with no special washing facilities.
Like Fitzwilliam Tennis Club, Portmarnock is a favourite watering hole and games centre for the wealthy proofessional people of Ireland and thus vividly reflects the prejudices and snobberies of that class.
It is very difficult for a Jew to get into Portmarnock, as it is in many Dublin golf clu bs. There are three Jewish members but many more have been refused. A prospecctive member has his appliication placed on the notice board and any individual member with a special preejudice can blackball the applicant merely by tearing down the notice in the view of three other members. Such arcane, quasi-Masonic rites are common enough.
Portmarnock has no artiisans section for people who cannot afford the £200 per annum membership fee as has Royal Dublin. Nor does it have special artisan facilities during the week.
Among the most promiinent members of the club are Archbishop Dermot Ryan, Dan McAuley of the FUE, Judge Gannon of the High Court, President Hillery, as well as leaders of the medical, dental and legal professions, including several Benchers of the Kings Inns.