Thursday, 15 October 2009

Michael Flanigan en Nov-Jorko

…de la Irish Echo:

It's not every day that a lawyer gets to challenge a piece of legislation that's been on the statute books for 272 years. But a Belfast solicitor did just that earlier this year when he highlighted the ban on Irish in the courts in the Administration of Justice Languages Act.

His challenge on behalf of a young Irish speaker was dismissed. Flanigan has since lodged an appeal that has yet to be to be heard.

Meanwhile, the lawyer took the issue to New York last week, where he spoke at a meeting at Glucksman Ireland House and met with local officials and members of the Irish-American community.

"For that type of legislation to be still in place is hugely disappointing. But when you combine it with the fact that a decision's been made not to have an Irish language act leaves Irish speakers in the North in a position which is almost unique within the islands of Ireland and Britain," Flanigan said, referring to a announcement made by Edwin Poots, as minister of the environment.

"Welsh speakers have the benefit of the Welsh language act and Gaelic speakers in Scotland have the benefit of the Gaelic language act. And obviously the position in the Republic is that Irish is the first national language," he said. "The Irish speakers from the North have been excluded from all of that."...

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