Northern Ireland news

Irish language group granted High Court leave to challenge Executive

Irish language activists at Stormont. File picture by Mal McCann

AN Irish language group has been granted leave by the High Court in Belfast to apply for a judicial review into the Executive's failure to implement a strategy for the language.

Conradh na Gaeilge put the Executive on legal notice at the end of March.

But the Executive failed to respond.

A High Court judge has now allowed the group to seek a judicial review.

The legal challenge comes more than four years after a landmark court ruling.

In 2017, a court ruled that the Executive had failed in its legal duty to adopt an Irish language strategy - two years after a draft strategy by then culture minister Carál Ní Chuilín was not adopted by the Executive.

An Irish language strategy was also promised as part of the 2020 New Decade New Approach (NDNA) agreement.

Dr Niall Comer, president of Conradh na Gaeilge, said there was an "ongoing failure" to implement a strategy.

On Wednesday, Sinn Féin deputy leader Michelle O'Neill said she needs more than "fluffy words" from DUP leader Edwin Poots on implementing Irish language legislation.

Ms O'Neill said she was ready "to do business" with the DUP but insisted the outstanding elements of the New Decade, New Approach deal, including on Irish language protections, need to be delivered.

The DUP needs Sinn Féin's support if Paul Givan is to be installed as First Minister next week.


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