Conradh na Gaeilge urges fairness and dignity from Coventry Court as London branch intervenes in Keane family court appeal over Irish language gravestone

The Conradh na Gaeilge Executive Committee has passed a motion to support the legal intervention taken by the London branch of the organisation in the Coventry case. The move follows an appeal from the Keane Family following a decision taken by the Ecclesiastical Court of the Church of England banning the display of Irish without translation on the headstone of Margaret Keane in 2020. The appeal is due to be heard by the Church of England’s Ecclesiastical Appeals Court this Wednesday, 24 February 2021. 

Dr Niall Comer, President, Conradh na Gaeilge, commented:

“The memorial for Margaret Keane and the pioneering campaign from her family and friends to ensure their choice of language is respected has been well documented around the world in recent months. Firstly, Conradh na Gaeilge wishes to congratulate the Keane family for their leadership and resilience in challenging the legal decisions made against them. Conradh na Gaeilge also commends the efforts of the London branch of Conradh na Gaeilge in successfully being granted permission to intervene in the appeal proceedings. Conradh na Gaeilge have now taken the decision to support the efforts of the London branch as the appeal process comes before the courts this week. The request for an Irish language inscription on Margaret Keane’s memorial headstone is a deeply personal and symbolic expression of remembrance. The appeal by the Keane family, and the right to remember one’s family in your own choice of language, is a right that should be enjoyed by all and no judge or court should deny that.”

Oisín Mac Conamhna, Secretary, Conradh na Gaeilge in London:

"We believe this is a very important case, in which the family of Margaret Keane have demonstrated great dignity and courage, in seeking to commemorate her life and heritage appropriately with a loving memorial on her grave. We have intervened in their support because we believe the denial of permission to them to express their love for her in the language of their hearts without impediment was founded on disrespect for Margaret’s Irish heritage, against the law and against Christian morality. We wish to remind the former Chancellor of the Diocese of Coventry of his Christian heritage, that his Diocese was founded and converted to Christianity by Irish monks, when their teachings were heard for the first time in Irish. Freedom of loving expression is not only a human right under the law of the United Kingdom, but it is also something that ought to be celebrated, regardless of religious, political or linguistic persuasion.” 

Associated Organisations of Conradh na Gaeilge