This Act which now applies only in Northern Ireland, was originally designed to prevent lawyers from bamboozling both plaintiffs and defendants in Irish courts, by arguing cases in Latin or legal French.


It incidently forbids the use of Gaelic in legal proceedings within the jurisdiction, but this now appears to be it's only residual function. This aspect of the Act has always been an injustice, to the Gaelic language community of Ulster.

I propose amendment by replacing the words in Paragraph 1 "…shall be in the English tongue and language, and not in Latin or French or any other tongue or language whatsoever"  with the words "shall be in either the English tongue and language, or the Gaelic tongue and language , but not in Latin or French or any other tongue or language whatsoever"

Why is this idea important?

As stated above:
The Act, which dates from the penal times, was originally designed to prevent lawyers from bamboozling both plaintiffs and defendants in Irish courts, by arguing cases in Latin or legal French.

Only incidently did the Act forbid the use of Gaelic in legal proceedings, but this now appears to be the Act's only residual function.


This is an injustice to the Gaelic language community of Northern Ireland and has the effect of alienating the Gaelic community from the mechanisms of the state.

This alienation might have been consistent with the philosophy of the ruling classes during the penal times but is completely at odds, not only with the notion of civil rights in the 21st century, but with the multi-linguistic and multi-cultural Celtic heritage of the British Isles.

There has been a Gaelic language community in Ulster from time immemorial and the use of the Gaelic language in legal proceedings in Northern Ireland should be authorised by Parliament.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *