Claims man denied haircut because he is gay

A hairdressing salon in Cork City has stepped in to offer free haircuts to two people who allege they were denied a haircut in a barber shop due to discrimination.

Callers to 96FM’s Opinion Line programme made the allegations in relation to a city centre barbers.

One woman said her son, who has cerebral palsy, was refused a haircut, while another caller said he was refused, and alleged it was because he had been accompanied to the barbers in question by his boyfriend.

Both callers claimed the same man had refused them.

The radio station called to the shop to get a comment but its reporter was asked to leave. Yesterday the Irish Examiner visited the barber shop and was told that there would be no comment and was also told not to return.

One caller to the Opinion Line, Michele Giansanti, said in recent days he attended the barbershop with his boyfriend. He said he had previously been in the shop but “the minute I went there with my boyfriend he had a problem with it”. He claimed the man he was dealing with in the barbers told him to go elsewhere for the haircut.

Mr Giasanti claimed the man with whom he was dealing had “a very bad attitude” and alleged his sexuality was the reason for being refused service, adding: “My boyfriend is an Irish citizen, so it’s not a country issue.”

A second caller, a woman named Mary who said her teenage son, Thomas, has mild cerebral palsy, also alleged that they had been refused a haircut in the shop.

The caller said her son was in his wheelchair that day as he uses it when he gets tired, and when he was preparing himself to get out of the chair he and his mother were told that the boy could not get a haircut. “He looked at my son like he was going to catch something,” the caller said.

Both said they were considering making official complaints alleging discrimination.

Another hairdressers, Salon 33 Haircare, has stepped in with an offer to both affected parties. On its Facebook page the shop, in Ballyvolane Shopping Centre, said it would be happy to cater for both callers. “We pride ourselves on our customer service, so hopefully we’ll see you all. If not, we genuinely hope your next experience to the hairdressers is a good one.”


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