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24 March 2014

Louise Hannon (1962–) business development manager, photographer.

Hannon was raised in Dublin. In the five years up to 2006, Hannon, self-employed, had worked as a business development manager at First Direct Logistics Ltd, and broke up with wife and children.

In October Hannon disclosed to management that she was transsexual and would be leaving because she did not think that a transport firm "would be comfortable with it". However she was encouraged to stay, but was asked to wait a few months to accommodate a new staff member.

She changed her name by deed poll in March and arrived at the office, but was told to work from home and to maintain her male identity on the phones, and when meeting clients. She was also told not to use the women's toilet at work (despite the fact that the manager often did so if the men's was occupied). Later she was told that a new employee had been hired, and there was no desk for her at the office. In July Hannon was told that the company director was not happy with her work. She left feeling that she had been constructively dismissed.

She appealed to the Equality Tribunal as she was entitled to do under the Employment Equality Act 1998. The Tribunal awarded her €35,422.71, and commented: "requesting Ms Hannon to switch between a male/female identity whenever the respondent felt the need for it constituted direct discrimination on the gender and disability grounds".

Louise has been Co-Chair of Labour LGBT Elected to the Labour Equality Co-ordinating Council, sat on the steering group of the Equality and Rights Alliance, been Vice Chair of Transgengender Equality Network Ireland (TENI).

She currently works as a photographer in Dublin.

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