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JUDGEMENT SETBACK IN GAELTACHT DEVELOPMENT CASE
An attempt to block the development and sale of houses in a Gaeltacht area to those not proficient in Irish has failed. Five native Irish speakers this week lost a court action aimed at restraining a developer from selling houses in the Ring Gaeltacht (An Rinn). Costs were also awarded against the residents
Cathal Ó Luain pour Celtic League le 5/12/06 20:26

An attempt to block the development and sale of houses in a Gaeltacht area to those not proficient in Irish has failed.

Five native Irish speakers this week lost a court action aimed at restraining a developer from selling houses in the Ring Gaeltacht (An Rinn). Costs were also awarded against the residents following the proceedings which were conducted in Irish with English translation.

Giving his ruling, Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O'Neill said that, as Waterford Co Council had accepted the first of the five houses in the development could be sold to a person with Irish to Leaving Certificate standard, it was not entitled to impose a higher standard on other purchasers.

The residents had fought to establish the principle that the properties should be sold only to persons with proven competence in written and spoken Irish, and contended that having Irish to Leaving Certificate standard was not proof of the necessary competence. There is is no doubt a successful ruling in favour of the applicants could have had implications for other areas where substantial developments are undermining the cultural integrity of Gaeltacht areas.

The developer in this case claimed he had been told by the Council that all that was required under the October 2004 planning permission for the development was for the purchasers of three of the five houses to be either natives of the Gaeltacht area or be competent in written and spoken Irish.

He also claimed a suitable benchmark for such competence is to have Irish to Leaving Certificate standard and he sold the first of the five houses in his development on that basis.

The Celtic League General Secretary is to write to the Minister for the Gaeltacht to express concern about the issues which the outcome of the case highlight.

See also Celtic News No's:

2013 GAELTACHT HOUSING BATTLE GOES TO COURTS - Sep 17, 2006

1990 HOUSING - CULTURAL AND SOCIAL PRESSURES HIGHLIGHTED - Aug 12, 2006

J B Moffatt Director of Information Celtic League

25/11/06

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The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues. TEL (UK) 01624 877918 MOBILE (UK)07624 491609 (voir le site)
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