Appeal from family denied Irish epitaph on gravestone in England to be heard
An ecclesiastical court in England will this month hear an appeal from a woman who was refused the right to include an Irish language epitaph without an English translation on her mother’s gravestone.
The family of the late Margaret Keane, who was born in Ireland but lived in Coventry, want to install a memorial stone featuring the words “In ár gcroíthe go deo”, which translate to “In our hearts forever”.
Mrs Keane was active in the work of the GAA in Coventry and across the UK, performing an “important public service to the Irish community in the United Kingdom”, her family said.
However, the Consistory Court of the Diocese of Coventry last year ruled that the Irish epitaph could be misinterpreted as a political slogan and could therefore not be allowed.
In a five-page judgment, Judge Stephen Eyre QC, chancellor of the Diocese of Coventry, said: “Not only would the message of the inscription not be understood but there is a risk of it being misunderstood.
“Given the passions and feelings connected with the use of Irish Gaelic there is a sad risk that the phrase would be regarded as some form of slogan or that its inclusion without translation would of itself be seen as a political statement.”
The matter will now be considered by an ecclesiastical appeals court on Wednesday 24 February, the Irish Independent reports.