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Court of Appeal urged to overturn Irish ban

The Court of Appeal has been urged to overturn a 270-year-old ban on the use of the Irish language in court proceedings in Northern Ireland.

Senior judges heard the prohibition was discriminatory and breached the European Convention on Human Rights.

Irish language speaker Caoimhin Mac Giolla Cathain is challenging the dismissal of a legal case he took after being informed his application in Irish for an occasional drinks licence could not be considered.

Court staff said the reason was that under the Administration of Justice (Language) Act of 1737 all proceedings in Northern Ireland courts must be in English.

The liquor licence sought by Mr Cathain, a member of the Shaws Road Gaeltacht in west Belfast, was in connection with a musical concert in the Culturlann arts centre.

Last summer a High Court judge rejected his contention that the 1737 Act was incompatible with the European Charter for Regional and Minorities Language and secondly that the Act contravened his human rights.

The appeal was adjourned until Tuesday.

Belfast Telegraph

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