Dubliner Elected President at Conradh na Gaeilge’s 2014 Ard-Fheis

Cóilín Ó Cearbhaill to prioritise Rights for the Irish speaking and Gaeltacht community in his new role as President of Conradh na Gaeilge

Cóilín Ó Cearbhaill, who is from Dublin and the current Tánaiste of Conradh na Gaeilge, has been elected President of the democratic forum for the Irish speaking community at its Ard-Fheis in Killarney this weekend (28/02-02/03/2014).

Cóilín Ó Cearbhaill, the newly elected President of Conradh na Gaeilge said:

“I am looking forward to taking on the challenges ahead of me as President of Conradh na Gaeilge, especially at this critical juncture for the language. The Irish speaking community north and south have been sparked in to action to seek their language rights from the Governments as was evident at Lá Mór na Gaeilge on the 15th of February which was attended by up to 10,000 people, at Slán le Seán in Conamara on the 23rd of February which was attended by up to 1,000 people and the upcoming An Lá Dearg which will take place in Belfast on the 12th of April 2014.

"The state systems and politicians throughout the island must provide adequate protection and support to the Irish speaking community. The Gaeltacht community, especially, must be guaranteed State service through Irish, without condition or question, by the end of 2016”.

An emergency motion based on the refusal to provide a bilingual jury in Irish and in English in the case of Peadar Ó Maicín from Ros Muc (27th February 2014) was passed unanimously at the Ard-Fheis. It is a national embarrassment that the Republic of Ireland is the only independent country in the world where a citizen cannot take legal action in the national language of the country and have their case heard in the court without translation. The text of the motion is below:

The Ard-Fheis recommends that particular attention be given to the decision of the Supreme Court on the question of a bilingual jury in Irish and in English. As a solution we recommend an amendment to the Official Languages Act 2003 to ensure that a citizen, especially from the Gaeltacht, can be certain that all members of the jury will understand the evidence accurately without assistance or help.

The Ard-Fheis also is calling for the repeal of The Administration of Justice (Language) Act (Ireland) 1737, which forbids the use of any language but English in court proceedings in the north, to ensure language rights and equality in the courts for the Irish speaking community throughout the island.

The following motions, that support the all-island campaign for fairness for the Irish speaking community, were adopted on the weekend:

  • The Gaeltacht community must be guaranteed State service through Irish, without condition or question, by the end of 2016;
  • State services must be made available in Irish to the Irish-speaking community at the same standard as they are provided in English;
  • A comprehensive rights-based Irish-language act must be enacted in the north;
  • The Official Languages Act 2003 must be strengthened in 2014;
  • The derogation of the status of Irish as an official language of the European Union must not be renewed after 1 January 2017; and
  • The Irish-language and Gaeltacht community must be recognised as stakeholders in the implementation of The 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010 – 2030 in the south and in the Irish-Language Strategy in the north.



Cóilín Ó Cearbhaill,
President, Conradh na Gaeilge
+353 (0)86 8599067 / +353 (0)1 4757401

Julian de Spáinn,
General Secretary, Conradh na Gaeilge
+353 (0)86 8142757 / +353 (0)1 4757401

Date: 02 March 2014
For immediate release


Conradh na Gaeilge is the democratic forum for the Irish-speaking community working to promote the language. There are over 200 branches of Conradh na Gaeilge and since its foundation in 1893, members of the Conradh have been actively promoting Irish in every aspect of life in Ireland and especially its use in their own areas. Conraitheoirí are at the forefront of campaigns to secure and strengthen the rights of the Irish language community. It is also possible to register as an individual member of the Conradh. Conradh na Gaeilge runs Irish courses in Dublin, Galway and other locations across the country. www.cnag.ie/courses

Associated Organisations of Conradh na Gaeilge