Father of disabled boy claims he was ejected from Clonskeagh Mosque by garda during Eid parking row

Kayam Noordally accused the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland of discrimination, but mosque authorities said the car park was simply full up

The father of a disabled boy claims he was ejected from the grounds of Ireland’s largest mosque by a garda during a dispute over disabled parking there during a major religious festival earlier this year, the Workplace Relations Commission has heard.

In a claim under the Equal Status Act 2000, Kayam Noordally has accused the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland of discrimination over preventing him from taking his disabled son into the mosque’s grounds by car on the Muslim holy day of Eid-al-Fitr earlier this year.

Authorities at the mosque have said its car park was simply full up, with double the number of attendees there this year to mark the end of Ramadan.

They submit that Mr Noordally did not ask for wheelchair access and was not refused, accusing him of trying to force his way and then blocking the gate when he didn’t get his way.


In evidence to an equality hearing on Monday, Mr Noordally said that he arrived with his son by car to the mosque on Roebuck Road in Dublin 14 to find the main entrance gate half-closed so that only people on foot could enter.

“I asked them what about my son who is a wheelchair user,” Mr Noordally said.

He said he could see a space near the entrance where he could park safely but that a security worker posted at the gate “refused” access stating: “The car park is full and there’s no other car can get access.”

“I am here for my son, he is disabled. It is not the problem of my son he was born like that. He was born without a leg, he’s not able to walk,” he said.

Mr Noordally said that he was able to enter the site on foot later to find that the two of the disabled parking bays on the grounds were occupied by cars not displaying a blue badge, while a third was free – taking photos of what he found.

After he took the pictures, he said he was “pulled” off the grounds of the mosque by a garda.

Mosque administrator Ahmed Hassain told the WRC that between 2,000 and 2,500 people normally came to Clonskeagh to mark the end of Ramadan – but that this year was “exceptionally large”, quoting an estimate of 5,000 which he said had been made by an RTÉ News team present on the day.

He said parking was “first come, first served” and that by the time Mr Noordally arrived the gate was partially closed over because the car park was full – with some 80 - 90 per cent of attendees’ cars parked elsewhere, Mr Hassain said.

“He was not refused. He wanted to force his car to come in. He did not ask for wheelchair access,” Mr Hassain said. “The crowd was so big we knew he will cause hazards,” he added.

He said the security team would have stopped someone parking in a disabled bay if they saw it happen before their eyes, but otherwise it was “impossible to find the perpetrator” and have them move the vehicle.

WRC adjudication officer Conor Stokes said photos submitted in evidence showed “a number of empty spaces” in the car park on the day.

Mr Hassain said some spaces in the car park had freed up after the end of the religious service, and questioned when the photos were taken.

“People do co-operate. Out of 5,000 people, arguably over 500 or 600 vehicles, maybe 100 cars came in – the rest had to go find other places to park,” Mr Hassain said.

Mr Noordally “drove into the gate, forcefully, even before he could go in and check”.

He said security staff had not called gardaí on Mr Noordally but that they had already been there to assist with traffic management – and only “interfered” in the situation when they saw Mr Noordally’s car blocking the entrance.

“They said: ‘Park somewhere else and then finish your argument,’” Mr Hassain added.

“Imagine if an emergency happened, someone needs to go to hospital, or an ambulance need to get in. The guards interfered on that basis, begging him to move. Nobody was rude to him. This man pushed, he was rude to everyone and rude to the guards, they said,” Mr Hassain continued.

“I don’t have a guard here, so that falls into the realm of hearsay,” Mr Stokes said.

“I really sympathise with him having a disabled child but it is not my problem all the time. You can’t ask for the impossible. This is not a fair argument, you’re not dealing with reality, Noordally,” Mr Hassain added.

Mr Noordally accepted when questioned by the adjudicator that he had not seen any other cars going in at the time he was turned around.

“Nowhere have I heard you say your son was refused. The car your son was in was refused. Nobody said to you you can’t bring your sin in in a wheelchair,” Mr Stokes said.

Mr Noordally said his son had been “indirectly” refused access when the car was stopped.

The adjudicator closed the hearing and said he would issue his decision in due course.