NI: Irish language organisation moves ahead with judicial review against Executive

NI: Irish language organisation moves ahead with judicial review against Executive

Northern Ireland’s High Court has agreed to allow Irish language organisation Conradh na Gaeilge to bring a judicial review against the Northern Ireland Executive over its failure to adopt or implement an Irish language plan.

The group says the St Andrews Agreement includes a specific, unfulfilled pledge to implement an Irish-Language Strategy.

Former Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín launched the Strategy to Enhance and Protect the Development of the Irish Language 2015-2035 in January 2015, but the last Executive failed to go on to adopt a Irish-Language Strategy, despite this being included in the Programme for Government 2011-2015.

Niall Comer, tánaiste of Conradh na Gaeilge, said the court case could be avoided if the Executive moved on the issue.

Ciarán Mac Giolla Bhéin, advocacy manager with Conradh na Gaeilge, added: “We welcome the Court’s decision and the opportunity to challenge the executive’s failure to adapt an Irish-language strategy.

“Stormont cannot simply overlook a key legal duty introduced as part of an international agreement which forms part of the peace process and which formed a central part of the Executive’s own Programme for Government 2011-15.

“It is particularly important that there is a strategy to enhance and protect the development of the language as the Irish-speaking community continues to grow and asserts its rights.

“Stormont can no longer turn a blind eye to the Irish-language community – it is time to legislate.”

Conradh na Gaeilge is anticipating that the judicial review will begin in Autumn 2016 unless there is a change in the Executive’s position.

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