Saturday 24 February 2018

Priest on drink-driving charge to be given documents in Irish

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A parish priest and native Irish speaker facing trial on drink-driving charges is entitled to certain official documents in Irish as failure to provide them would breach the State's constitutional obligations.

Ms Justice Bronagh O'Hanlon in the High Court said her decision does not prevent the trial of Donnchadh Ó Cuinn proceeding next month at the District Court and also does not affect the work of the District Court "in aon chor" (in any way).

Fr Ó Cuinn, parish priest of Falcarragh, Co Donegal, is charged with driving over the legal limit for alcohol on March 29, 2014 at Main Street, Letterkenny. He denies the charge.

In judicial review proceedings, he argued, as a native Irish speaker, he is entitled to conduct official business through Irish, the first official language of the State.

He claimed the State defendants breached those rights in failing to make available in Irish some official documents, including the relevant District Court rules and Statutory Instrument.

Irish Independent

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