Irish-speaking priest can face drink drive trial – court

Stock photo
Stock photo

The way has been cleared for the trial of a parish priest on drink driving charges after the High Court refused to declare a failure to provide him with some official documents in Irish breached the State’s constitutional obligations.

Native Irish speaker Fr Donnchadh Ó Cuinn, parish priest of Falcarragh, Co Donegal, is charged with driving in excess of 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, his native language, the national language and 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.

The documents at issue were available only in English at the time of the alleged offence in March 2014, but have since been made available in Irish.

Irish Independent

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