A challenge to the Administration of Justice (Language) Act of 1737, often dubbed by lawyers, historians and Irish language activists as the last of the penal laws, bans the Irish language from court proceedings and legal documentation has failed. The case was taken by Shaw’s Road Gaeltacht resident, native Irish speaker and musician, Caoimhín Mac Giolla Chatháin.
Mr Justice Treacy dismissed the plaintiffs assertions that the Act controvenes European Charter for Regional and Minorities Language and secondly that the Act was in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights. It is understood that the decision will be appealed. The Belfast Tele covers the story as does Nuacht 24.
This ban is in stark contrast to the treatment of Scottish Gaelic and of Welsh both of which are accepted in court despite their speakers now being almost entirely bilingual with English.