Conradh na Gaeilge granted High Court’s Permission to bring Judicial Review Proceedings against Executive

Conradh na Gaeilge at the High Court in Belfast“We would prefer not to proceed with this case: implement the Strategy” – Conradh na Gaeilge

Belfast’s High Court has today (31 May 2016) decided to grant Conradh na Gaeilge permission to bring a Judicial Review against the northern Executive due to its failure to adopt or implement the Irish-Language Strategy 2015-2035.

Former Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure, Carál Ní Chuilín MLA, launched the Strategy to Enhance and Protect the Development of the Irish Language 2015-2035 on 30 January 2015, but the Executive failed to adopt the Irish-Language Strategy, as was agreed in their own Programme for Government 2011-15, as per its legislative obligations. The British Government specifically pledged to implement an Irish-Language Strategy in the 2006 St. Andrew’s Agreement, while the current Executive’s Programme for Government 2011-2015 refers to the Strategy under Priority 4 of the Programme Building a Strong and Shared Community.

Niall Comer, Tánaiste of Conradh na Gaeilge says:

“Although we have been granted the High Court’s permission to bring a Judicial Review, it is necessary to inform the authorities that this can be avoided by adopting the Strategy to Enhance and Protect the Development of the Irish Language 2015-2035. Unfortunately, if the Executive do not decide to change their position on this issue, we will have no other option but to proceed and bring the case in front of the court. We have a clear message for the Executive: we would prefer not to proceed with this case; implement the Strategy.”

Ciarán Mac Giolla Bhéin, Advocacy Manager with Conradh na Gaeilge says:

“We welcome the Court’s decision and the opportunity to challenge the executive's failure to adopt 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 being in Autumn 2016 unless the Executive change their position in the interim period.

More: Conradh na Gaeilge To Take Northern Executive to Court Over Failure to Implement Irish-Language Strategy

Associated Organisations of Conradh na Gaeilge