Was Irish spoken for the first time in the House of Commons?

CLAIM: The first time the Irish language was spoken in the House of Commons was 24 October 2018.

CONCLUSION: False. There is an official record (Hansard) of Irish spoken in the House of Commons, by Thomas O’Donnell MP, on 19 February 1901. Also, Mark Durkan MP spoke Irish in the House as recently as 17 January 2017.

Continue reading Was Irish spoken for the first time in the House of Commons?

Is Irish the only language banned in Northern Ireland courts?

CLAIM: Only the Irish language is banned in courts in Northern Ireland.

CONCLUSION: False. English is the working language of court proceedings in Northern Ireland; interpretation and translation services are provided for those who do not speak or understand English. Whether this policy is informed by the Penal Laws is currently contested. Continue reading Is Irish the only language banned in Northern Ireland courts?

TheJournal.ie: Are there really more Polish speakers than Irish speakers in Northern Ireland?

CLAIM: In Northern Ireland, more people speak Polish than speak Irish.

CONCLUSION: Mostly false. While the 2011 Census data show more people in Northern Ireland speaking Polish than Irish as their main language, based on other available data it is implausible that there are more who speak Polish than Irish. Continue reading TheJournal.ie: Are there really more Polish speakers than Irish speakers in Northern Ireland?

TheJournal.ie: Did the DUP really never commit to an Irish Language Act?

CLAIM: “The DUP at no point has ever agreed to establish an Irish Language Act with the UK government, with the Irish government, with Sinn Féin or anybody else.”

CONCLUSION: Accurate. The St Andrew’s Agreement committed the UK Government to an Irish Language Act, but subsequent legislation compelled the Northern Ireland Executive to produce a strategy (which may or may not include an Irish Language Act). Continue reading TheJournal.ie: Did the DUP really never commit to an Irish Language Act?