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Portmarnock Golf Club ‘becomes gender-neutral’ and elects first female members

The words ‘who shall be gentlemen’ have been removed from the club’s by laws.

Brian KeoghIndependent.ie

Portmarnock Golf Club has elected its first female members in the club’s 128-year history.

There were 40 candidates for election, including 10 women.

In the end, nine women became full voting members along with 19 men.

With former internationals Mary McKenna, Ita Butler and Claire Hourihane elected as honorary life members last year, the nine new additions bring to 37 the number of female members in all categories, including students, girls and overseas. Portmarnock voted last year to change its constitution and allow women to join.

The club said: “A vote by the members of Portmarnock Golf Club that rule 3 be amended through the removal of the words ‘who shall be gentlemen’ has been passed. The result is 83.4pc in favour and 16.6pc against.

“As a consequence of this decision, the rules and bye-laws of the club will now become gender-neutral, which marks a positive development in the club’s long and distinguished history.”

The club is eligible to host R&A events now it has female members.

Officials from the R&A visited twice this year, and while it is understood it is in talks about potentially staging the AIG Women’s Open, the R&A’s chief executive Martin Slumbers appeared lukewarm about that possibility when asked by the Irish Independent at this year’s Open at St Andrews.

Noting the course is on an island, he said: “It’s quite difficult infrastructure-wise. It’s a great golf course, but are we considering it for the Open? No, not at this time.”

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