Speaking at the Pobal organised meeting on the 1737 Justice Act, Pól
Ó Ceallaigh Ó Ceallacháin of the SDLP, speaking on behalf of Mark Durkan the SDLP leader, promised action on the question of the 1737 Justice Act. The act, which has been described by lawyers and historian Eamon Phoneix as a ‘penal law’ effectively bans the Irish language from courts in the North.
Ó Ceallaigh Ó Ceallacháin informed the well attended meeting that should the appeal following the recent ‘Mac Giolla Catháin case’ fail, then the SDLP is committed to introducing a bill in the assembly on the issue. As policing and justice is a reserved matter, it is difficult to see how the SDLP’s bill would operate, however it would clearly be widely welcomed by Irish speakers.
Janet Muller of Pobal suggested at the meeting that the most sensible course of action for the British government would be to quietly drop the Act at the earliest oppurtunity.
Pól Ó Ceallacháin has in the comments corrected me a little, go raibh maith agaibh a Phóil, Mark Durkan MP inteads to raise the issue in Westminister. Fair play dó.