The law, language and identity debate in Northern Ireland: some thoughts on the on-going struggle to find consensus

We are delighted to welcome this guest post by Verona Ní Dhrisceoil. Verona is a Fulbright Scholar and a Lecturer in Law at the University of Sussex.

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This post is cross-posted with the CCRL Blog.

If language was merely a communicative tool it would pack a much lighter emotional punch (J Edwards, 2003)

On the 17th January the Committee of Experts (COMEX) published the Fourth Report on the application of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML) by the United Kingdom. In it, the COMEX chastised the UK Government and the Northern Ireland Assembly (NIA) for the lack of progress made in relation to the protection and promotion of the Irish language in Northern Ireland since the previous monitoring round and also for the complete failure to comply with the reporting requirements under Art.15 of the Charter. On the basis of the findings of the Fourth Report, the Committee of Ministers (CoM) have now recommended (CM/RecChL(2014)3) that the authorities of the United Kingdom “as a matter of priority”:

“adopt and implement a comprehensive Irish language policy, preferably through the adoption of legislation providing statutory rights for Irish speakers.” Continue reading “The law, language and identity debate in Northern Ireland: some thoughts on the on-going struggle to find consensus”

The law, language and identity debate in Northern Ireland: some thoughts on the on-going struggle to find consensus