Man loses Supreme Court plea for bilingual jury

Man loses Supreme Court plea for bilingual jury

The Supreme Court has ruled that a man does not have the right to a trial by a bilingual jury.

Peadar O'Maicin from Rosmuc, Co Galway is charged with assault causing harm in Lettermore in Co Galway in 2008.

O'Maicin wanted his case run before a jury that can understand Irish and English without requiring an interpreter.

He is from Connemara, and resides close to a Gaeltacht area.

His High Court challenge for a bilingual jury failed and he's now lost by four to one on appeal to the Supreme Court.

Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman said he does not believe there is any other country in the world in which a citizen would not be entitled to conduct his business before a court in the National and first official language.

However, his judicial colleagues note the difficulty involved in finding a jury with sufficient competence in Irish.

Mr Justice John McMenamin found it is not constitutionally permissable for any person, in any part of the country, to seek to have a jury panel devised or “tailored” for them.


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