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  • appear that the facts are clear and established but the trial itself will disclose a different picture Since the defendant who brings such a motion must satisfy the court that even assuming that all the facts pleaded and relied upon by the plaintiff in his statement of claim are established in evidence his or her action will nonetheless inevitably fail the burden resting on the defendant in bringing such a motion is undoubtedly a heavy one It remains to consider the application of those principles to the facts of the present case As I understand the statement of claim and particulars the plaintiff claims that he entered into what he describes as a joint venture partnership agreement with the defendants and a Mr Peter Dwyer under which a company was to be formed for the purpose of acquiring and developing certain lands known as The Guinness lands in West County Dublin If the lands in question could be acquired for 8 million the project was to go ahead and the shareholding in the company and the distribution of profits which it was hoped would result from the venture were to be divided in the proportions of 40 to the defendants 40 to Mr Dwyer and the remaining 20 to the plaintiff If it transpired that the purchase price of the lands was in excess of 8 million the parties would not be bound to proceed with the acquisition and development of the lands If however the parties were willing to proceed with the acquisition of the lands even though the purchase price was in excess of 8 million the company would then be formed with the shares held in the agreed proportions The plaintiff s case is that the lands were subsequently acquired for a sum admittedly significantly in excess

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  • particularised in a reply to a request for particulars made by the appellants Two aspects of these particulars merit attention namely the nature and extent of the intended development and the means by which it was to be financed The Development The lands were to be all lands mentioned which would benefit from the installation of an underground infrastructure which could provide all necessary services and connections including road connections The development was to involve the construction of residential properties on the Guinness lands as well as the installation of the underground infrastructure necessary to drain those lands as well as all other lands in the near vicinity The plaintiff states that he and Mr Peter Dwyer had already retained the services of experts to design the underground infrastructure The particulars state that there were to be two large surface water mains together with foul sewer drains manholes and the requisite pipe work to drain all the lands in the natural catchment in the Castaheany Phibblestown area They also state that all this was explained to and discussed in detail with the first named appellant at a meeting in February 1997 whereupon the latter asked to be allowed to co operate with the plaintiff and Mr Dwyer in order bring into effect their advices apparently in relation to these services Finance The particulars state that the plaintiff and Mr Peter Dwyer had in late 1996 taken professional advice with a view to assembling a package to finance the acquisition and development and installation of services they then envisaged They also state that prior to the meeting of 5th March 1997 the first named appellant had expressed serious concern about his existing indebtedness and his unwillingness to provide finance for the underground services envisaged by the plaintiff In reply to a question about financing of the acquisition the particulars further state that the matter was raised by the plaintiff at the meeting on 5th March 1997 at the behest of the appellants and was to be discussed at a later stage as stipulated in a document of 5th March 1997 to which I will next refer and which is central to the present issue It is agreed that a handwritten document was prepared by the plaintiff at the meeting of 5th March and subsequently signed by the first named appellant and Mr Peter Dwyer but not by the plaintiff In so far as is necessary the plaintiff relies on this document to satisfy the requirements of the Statute of Frauds The parties differ fundamentally regarding the contractual value of this document The plaintiff pleads that it represents evidence of a concluded agreement he swears in one of his affidavits that the purpose of his writing the terms which had been agreed between the parties was to formalise those terms The first named appellant says that the entire discussion was tentative and that many matters were uncertain queried or to be discussed or agreed These are issues that cannot be determined on a motion of this kind The plaintiff s version must be preferred for present purposes The handwritten document contains firstly some very general calculations of acreages and prices producing a sum of 7 9 meaning 7 900 000 rounded up to 8m The words Newco Ltd next appear followed by an informal note of 50 each to SR Seamus Ross and PD Peter Dwyer minus 10 followed by a question mark being written under each Finally there appears Finance to be Discussed As already mentioned the plaintiff in the particulars supplied acknowledges that the financing of the acquisition was raised by the first named appellant but that it was to be discussed at a later stage as stipulated in the document The general tenor of the contract pleaded in the statement of claim and the particulars is that it involved the acquisition by the joint venture through the vehicle of a company to be formed in which the plaintiff the first named appellant and Mr Peter Dwyer would be the shareholders in agreed shares of the Guinness lands upon which the company would construct a housing development In addition the joint venture would construct an underground infrastructure and foul and surface water services which would serve both the Guinness lands and extensive other lands in the area including some lands already in the ownership of the first or third named appellants and lands owned by third parties The revenue earned by any of the parties from the provision of such services to other developers would accrue to the joint venture company In his affidavit grounding the motion to dismiss the claim the first named appellant maintains that there was no concluded contract between the plaintiff and any of the defendants He agrees that he signed the handwritten document of 5th March and does not contest any of its contents He implicitly accepts that one or other of the defendants subsequently acquired the Guinness lands but says that the price was 19 000 000 and not 8 000 000 as mentioned in the document The plaintiff says that the latter sum was discussed as the minimum price at the meeting of 5th March The first named appellant says that Mr Peter Dwyer did not do anything subsequent to 5th March to advance negotiations or tender requisite capital By way of reply the plaintiff repeats that it was the first named appellant who requested that the issue of finance be dealt with at a later time He merely adds that the latter was aware that the plaintiff and Mr Peter Dwyer were at an advanced stage of finalising the financial arrangements that these arrangements were then discontinued but that the first named appellant said that the raising of finance would not be a problem for Newco The legal principles to be applied on an application of this kind are not in dispute As explained by reference to the judgment of Costello J in Barry v Buckley at page 308 it must be

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  • Ó Murchú -v- An Taoiseach & chuid eile : Judgments & Determinations : Courts Service of Ireland
    against those findings Respondent s General Argument on the Judgment According to the respondent the findings of the learned High Court judge were correct in law following he contends the findings of this Court in the case of O Beolain v Fahy supra which the respondent says are findings on the same subject matter The respondent argues that this appeal should be dismissed which would have as its result that the appellants would be obliged to take action along the following lines a Both versions of all Acts of the Oireachtas will have to be made available as soon as the President signs and promulgates a Bill as Law pursuant to Article 25 4 1 b The custom which did exist in the past will resume so that in consequence versions of all Statutory Instruments in Irish and in English will be made available at the same time as or simultaneously with the original version for signing by the Minister regardless of the language in which the original text was prepared c All Court Rules will be available in both official languages simultaneously together with all amendments forms and indices thereto In consequence it is submitted by the respondent the Irish Body of Law would be thereby fully observed as it should be in both official languages in accordance with the provisions of Articles 8 25 40 and other Articles of the Constitution This it is submitted would have as its legal result the grant of joint observance and status to both official languages and to their speakers in line with European and International Conventions so as to avoid giving either party that is to say a party who wishes to conduct his legal affairs in one language as opposed to the other any cause for grievance Conclusion on the issue of an obligation of simultaneous translation of Acts of the Oireachtas Article 25 4 4 of the Constitution reads in the Irish version as follows I gcás an tUachtarán do chur a láimhe le téacs Bille í dteanga de na teangacha oifigiúla agus sa teanga sin amháin ní fólair tiontú oifigiúil a chur amach sa teanga oifigiúil eile In the English version this appears as follows Where the President signs the text of a Bill in one only of the official languages an official translation shall be issued in the other official language I am satisfied that neither on its face nor on a correct interpretation of this Article is there a constitutional obligation to enact legislation in both official languages It is clear that either the first official language Irish or the second official language English may be used for the purposes of enacting legislation Bills when signed by the President do not have to be signed in both languages This is also clear from the wording of the Article itself which envisages the presentation of a Bill for signature and promulgation in one official language only since otherwise there would be no necessity to refer to a version in the other official language As soon as a Bill is signed in one language by the President it becomes by virtue of the provisions of Article 25 4 1 of the Constitution an Act That Article reads as follows Every Bill shall become and be law as on and from the day on which it is signed by the President under this Constitution and shall unless the contrary intention appears come into operation on that day While therefore Article 25 4 4 speaks of a version being available in the other official language where a Bill is signed in one version only it seems to me that the correct interpretation of this Article is that what is to be made available is an official translation of a Bill once signed that is an Act of the Oireachtas This is accepted by the respondent because no argument is made to the effect that Article 25 4 4 is to be read as meaning that a version of a Bill is to be made available simultaneously the respondent referring always to an obligation in respect of Acts of the Oireachtas Although the respondent also makes some considerable play of the distinction between signing and promulgation I do not think that this can alter the true meaning of Article 25 4 4 Article 25 4 4 is silent on the issue of timing as was recognised by this Court in O Beolain v Fahy supra that is to say on the issue of when a version of a Bill in the language other than that in which it is signed is to be made available Nowhere in either language version of this Article is there any temporal word or phrase used by the drafters of the Constitution which might support the respondent s contention that there is an obligation arising from the wording used to provide or make available with the signing by the President of a Bill in one official language its simultaneous translation in the other official language In the Irish version of the Article it speaks only of I gcás an tUachtarán do chur a láimhe ní fólair tiontú oifigiúil a chur amach whereas in the English version it speaks of Where the President signs the text of a Bill an official translation shall be issued Neither the word I gcás in Irish meaning Where or In the case of nor the phrase Where the President signs in English gives any sense of timing let alone imposes a requirement that there must be the simultaneous availability to the public of a Bill as signed in one language in the second language The obligation represented by ní fólair tiontu a chuir amach in Irish and by an official translation shall be issued in English does not affect the question of the timing of the same On the other hand if the framers of the Constitution had intended that when a Bill is signed by the President in one official language only a translation of that version into the other official language should be available simultaneously as the respondent contends this would have been a particularly simple obligation to impose and by the use of equally simple and straightforward language It could have been provided for example that where the President signs the text of a Bill presented in one language the President should sign at the same time or immediately thereafter a version of the Bill in the other official language Or it could have been provided simply that where a Bill is signed by the President in one official language an official translation thereof must be published simultaneously in the other official language None of these very simple solutions was however adopted Moreover I am satisfied that within Article 25 4 itself there is support for the view that what has to be translated is a version of a Bill as signed by the President without any time limit for its translation Article 25 4 5 reads As soon as may be after the signature and promulgation of a Bill as a law the text of such law which was signed by the President or where the President has signed the text of such law in each of the official languages both the signed texts shall be enrolled for record in the office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court and the text or both the texts so enrolled shall be conclusive evidence of the provisions of such law emphasis added If the respondent s argument were correct the provisions of Article 25 4 5 would have little merit for once both versions were to be available simultaneously upon signing by the President it would surely have been the case that the framers of the Constitution would not have provided for the two different situations in Article 25 4 5 where the President is presented with alternatively one language version of a Bill or a Bill to be signed in both official languages Before finally disposing of this aspect of the appeal I should make reference to the detailed and learned judgments of McGuinness and Hardiman J J in the case of O Beolain v Fahy supra I propose to deal with that case also under the next heading but there is one particular aspect of the judgments which I wish to remark upon at this time as the respondent invokes this decision in support of his argument on Article 25 4 4 Both judges granted declarations in accordance with the terms of the Notice of Motion as originally presented by the applicant in the judicial review proceedings in the High Court The declaration as therein sought was in terms of a claimed constitutional obligation or duty to make available to the public including the applicant in that case Acts of the Oireachtas when the President signs the text of a Bill in the second official language In the Irish version of the declaration sought the when in that context is found perfectly properly as nuair a gcuireann an tUachtarán a lámh Mr O Tuathail senior counsel for the respondent in this appeal contends in oral argument that the description of the obligation found in Article 25 4 4 is reflected by the use of this when nuair term in the English and Irish versions Article 25 4 4 does not however use either of the words when or nuair and their use runs I believe the risk of giving a different connotation to the Article since these words may well in certain contexts have a temporal meaning I do not agree therefore with the respondent s argument that the obligation is correctly so styled Neither the judgment of McGuinness J nor of Hardiman J found that there is a constitutional requirement for simultaneous translation under Article 25 4 4 I have found that the Article does not contain any such temporal words of limitation which the respondent invokes in this case to support a constitutional obligation of simultaneous translation I am satisfied that on a proper reading of Article 25 4 4 the contended for constitutional obligation to provide a simultaneous translation into the first official language of a Bill signed into law in the other language that is to say an Act of the Oireachtas does not exist The Article 8 Argument The respondent relies however on Article 25 4 4 when read in conjunction with Article 8 of the Constitution in support of his argument that the Constitution nevertheless obliges such simultaneous provision of a translation or version of an Act of the Oireachtas once signed by the President Article 8 of the Constitution reads as follows 1 The Irish language as the National language is the first official language 2 The English language is recognised as the second official language 3 Provision may however be made by law for the exclusive use of either of the said languages for any one or more official purposes either throughout the State or in any part thereof The respondent s argument is made on the grounds that in order to give the appropriate and proper recognition to the constitutional status of Irish as the first official language the Irish versions of Acts of the Oireachtas must be available simultaneously with the English version to those who might wish to use Irish in respect of for example their legal affairs This argument depends to some extent on the contention that a constitutional obligation exists pursuant to which such Acts be available on terms no less favourable than the Act in English a phrase taken apparently from certain Canadian case law invoked in O Beolain v Fahy supra In his judgment in the present case however the learned High Court judge did not make any reference at all to Article 8 of the Constitution The appellants contend that it is not appropriate to look to the constitutions of countries such as Canada or to case law on such constitutions when considering Article 8 because contrary to the position in Ireland at the time of the passing of the Constitution the State was not segregated or divided into two separate and distinct language communities as was the position in Canada giving rise to different considerations While there existed within the State areas of Gaeltacht these were not areas where English was not generally taught understood heard or spoken And further there existed throughout the State many persons who professed a proficiency in both Irish and English It is not therefore the position that Article 8 was adopted as the respondent suggests with a view to facilitating two mono lingual communities within a single State as was the position in Canada Quite the contrary they say In adopting the Constitution only one mandatory requirement as to the official translation of legal texts and only then of Acts of the Oireachtas was provided for and that is the obligation found in Article 25 4 4 They argue that Article 8 cannot avail the respondent in his argument on the obligations arising under Article 25 Further the appellants contend that the respondent cannot seek to suggest as he does that the Irish body of law must be translated into Irish pursuant to the provisions of Article 25 4 4 when read with Article 8 They point to the fact that the Constitution contains no provision whatsoever requiring the translation of pre 1922 Statutes nor indeed of pre 1922 Statutory Instruments or Orders Nor is there any obligation found in the Constitution to translate texts of the common law or of judgments of the courts of Ireland The Constitution as adopted in 1937 contains no transitional provision requiring that existing laws be translated within any period of time There is therefore according to the argument no reason to construe Article 25 4 4 in a manner which is contrary to the words chosen to express the obligation contained in it when read naturally No alteration to that position can be legally or constitutionally justified by the attempt on the part of the respondent to invoke the provisions of Article 8 of the Constitution The respondent counters this latter argument by saying that they seek only to stand over the declarations granted in the High Court as to Acts of the Oireachtas Statutory Instruments and Rules of Court They rely on the judgments of McGuinness J and of Hardiman J in O Beolain supra In the first of these it was said This issue relates to the right of people who speak either of the two official languages named in Article 8 of the Constitution to go to court In the second it was said With the status of the Irish language in mind it seems to me that those who wish to use the language are completely entitled to do so and are entitled to use every facility necessary to do so as far as such facilities are available to those who use the second official language Conclusion on Article 8 I do not find that either of these last two statements taken alone and in particular having regard to the context in which they were used in the above case in fact support the contended for obligation namely that when read with Article 8 of the Constitution Article 25 4 4 must be interpreted as meaning that there is an obligation on the appellants to make available upon the signing by the President of a Bill presented to her for signature in English a simultaneous version or translation of the Act in Irish The above judgment and several others also referred to in that judgment undoubtedly support the contention that such translations must be made available within a reasonable period of time or even within a very short period of time a matter I will deal with later in this judgment Further although Article 8 3 is invoked on the face of it this does not really aid the respondent The status of both languages is clearly set out at Articles 8 1 and 8 2 Article 8 3 is rather an enabling provision permitting but not obliging the adoption of legal provisions by Act or otherwise for the use of either of the languages for one or more official purposes and in a particular part or the entire of the State Being an enabling provision according to the argument of the appellants the intention or aspiration of the framers of the Constitution reflected in Article 8 3 is and was to facilitate the preservation and extension of the use of the Irish language and I agree The meaning of Article 8 3 was raised and determined by this Court O Dalaigh C J Kingsmill Moore J and Walsh J in Attorney General v Coyne and Wallace 1967 101 ILTR 17 and in which Kingsmill Moore stated I was at first inclined to the view that 8 3 meant that an official document to be operative must be both in Irish and English unless provision had been made by law sanctioning the use of only one of the languages It was argued for the Attorney General that the true meaning of the Article was that either languages sic might be used unless provision had been made by law that one language only was to be used for some one or more official purposes On consideration I consider this construction to be correct Accordingly I am of opinion that the decision of the District Justice was not correct and the case should be sent back to him to enter continuances Walsh J expressly agreed with the construction placed upon Article 8 3 of the Constitution by Kingsmill Moore J Moreover in Delap v Minister for Justice 1980 1998 IR Special Reports 46 O Hanlon accepted that he was bound by the above interpretation of Article 8 3 of the Constitution As to Articles 8 1 and 8 2 the judgments in O Beolain v Fahy supra were delivered in a particular context This requires to be set out The applicant had been charged with offences contrary to certain provisions of the Road Traffic Act 1961 as amended He was an Irish speaker who had been served with the summons in Irish and had dealt with the gardai throughout the entire investigation through Irish He had informed the court that he wished to conduct his defence in Irish and that he wished to have the relevant documents served on him in Irish and in particular he wished to have Irish versions of the Road Traffic Act 1994 which amended the Act of 1961 the Road Traffic Act 1995 and the Rules of the District Court 1997 so that he could conduct his defence in court in Irish These were not available As a result the proceedings in the District Court were adjourned from time to time to allow the State authorities to produce the documents sought and to ensure that an Irish speaking judge was available to hear the case Draft or unofficial translations of the Road Traffic Acts 1994 and 1995 were made available but no translation of the Rules of the District Court had been furnished and the applicant through his counsel sought an order directing the Director of Public Prosecutions to produce them That application was refused by the District judge and the applicant sought judicial review including an Order of Prohibition as well as declarations The declarations sought against the Minister for Justice Equality Law Reform and Ireland were firstly that these parties had a constitutional duty to make available to the applicant translations into Irish of the Road Traffic Acts 1994 and 1995 secondly that those defendants had a constitutional duty to make available to the public including the applicant Acts of the Oireachtas when the President signs the text of a Bill in the second official language and a final declaration that the same defendants had a constitutional duty to provide an official translation of Statutory Instrument No 93 1997 the District Court Rules 1997 to the public including the applicant The reliefs sought were refused in the High Court The applicant appealed to this Court Judgments were delivered by all three judges in this Court The appellants in this appeal say it is important to appreciate the different bases on which the three judges cast their judgments Two judges found in favour of the appellant and one found against him Insofar as the judgment of McGuinness J who found in his favour is concerned she stated in the material portion of her judgment as follows Article 25 4 4 as was pointed out by counsel on both sides does not provide any time frame within which an official translation of each Bill Act is to be provided However the article as a whole seems to envisage a fairly rapid procedure where time limits are provided they are short and the former pre 1980 system of providing a translation virtually simultaneously with the enactment of the Statute seems considerably more in accordance with the general tenor of the article than the present system which as far as the Court can ascertain provides a translation only when a special or urgent demand is made for it The Respondents argument for a reasonable time to be allowed for translation would ring more sincerely were it not for the fact that virtually no official translations of Statutes have been provided for the past twenty years This could not be described as a reasonable time Indeed it seems probable that the Statutes in question in this case Statutes which are used daily in the District Court would never have been translated were it not for the efforts of the Applicant and his legal advisers McGuinness J further found as follows It seems to me that the State has been flagrantly and over a long period of time in breach of this constitutional duty and it would be desirable for this Court publicly to stress the mandatory nature of the duty set out in Article 25 4 4 I would grant the relief sought by the Applicant at paragraph e of the Notice of Motion In providing for this declaratory relief I would assume that the State will take steps to remedy the present situation of neglect within a short time frame Hardiman J in his judgment took a different approach in also finding for the appellant Having traced the development of the provisions concerning Irish in the Constitution of Saorstat Eireann and having adopted the findings of Kennedy C J in O Foghludha v McClean 1934 I R 469 he then referred to the judgment of O Hanlon J in O Murchu v Registrar of Companies the Minister for Industry Commerce 1988 I R S R 42 which stressed the importance of the provisions of Article 8 of the Constitution in giving recognition to the Irish language of greater strength than that given in Article 4 of the earlier Constitution Hardiman J found as follows In my view the Irish language which is the national language and at the same time the first official language of the State cannot at least in the absence of a law of the sort envisaged by Article 8 3 be excluded from any part of the public discourse of the nation or the official business of the State or any of its emanations Nor can it be treated less favourably in these contexts than the second official language Nor can those who are competent and desirous of using it as a means of expression or communication be precluded from or disadvantaged in so doing in any national or official context Applying that finding he concluded that the appellant in that case could not be disadvantaged in the context of defending a criminal charge in District Court proceedings and that there was an obligation to make available to that party the two Acts sought and the applicable Rules of the District Court in Irish He found that on the specific issue of the constitutional requirement to provide an Irish version of a Bill presented to and signed by the President the twofold argument presented on behalf of the State was not meritorious The first argument concerned the absence of any specific temporal obligation in the Constitution and the second concerned the obligation resting not with the respondents but with the Houses of the Oireachtas It is not necessary for me to consider the latter matter in the context of this appeal However in relation to the issue as to when the obligation to provide a translation arises Hardiman J stated According to this line of argument years may elapse during which the Statute in question is in daily use without any translation being provided without the State being in breach of its obligation just so long as the authorities sincerely intend to provide the translation at some future date It must be obvious that this line of argument is utterly inconsistent with the constitutional status of the national language and with the long standing policy of bilingualism in relation to the business of the Courts repeated in statutory form as recently as 1998 In my view there must be implied into the terms of Article 25 4 4 at the very least a requirement that the official translation shall be provided as soon as practicable and there is clearly scope for the contention not made in this case that it must be available before the Act is sought to be enforced on a person competent and wishing to conduct his official affairs in Irish Moreover the only conceivable reason for requiring the issuing of an official translation is so that it can be used by those who are lawfully desirous of conducting their legal business in that one of the official languages which was not the language in which the Bill was passed Since they are entitled to do this it is plainly unreasonable in both the ordinary and the legal senses of that term to withhold the translation from them for any period of time and certainly for years and indeed decades as has unfortunately occurred in the case of many statutes I consider that the judgments of McGuinness J and Hardiman J in the case of O Beolain v Fahy supra fully support the conclusions that the appellants are not entitled to withhold translations of Acts of the Oireachtas for periods of time which are unreasonable and or which fly in the face of the status of Irish as the first official language pursuant to Article 8 of the Constitution Both judgments make it clear that the obligation to make available Irish versions of Acts of the Oireachtas must be fulfilled within a reasonable period of time or as soon as may be practicable No finding however is made in either judgment of an obligation to provide a version of an Act simultaneously or at the same time If it were the intention to do so I consider it likely this would have been expressly stated If on the other hand having regard to any ambiguity flowing from use of the words when nuair in the relief sought and granted in the O Beolain case it could be understood that this was intended to reflect such a simultaneous obligation I would disagree with such an interpretation which does not flow from the plain language of Article 25 nor from the judgments In the O Beolain case it is clear that neither of the majority judgments considered that the constitutional obligation arising from Article 25 4 4 had been met for a very considerable period of time It is useful to repeat again the provisions of the Act of 2003 s 7 of which provides that as soon as may be after the enactment of any Act of the Oireachtas the text thereof shall be printed and published in each of the official languages simultaneously emphasis added This provision appears to me to follow closely upon the finding of Hardiman J in O Beolain v Fahy supra that the translations must be made available as soon as practicable It also seems to me to be sufficient and appropriate compliance with the obligation of translation found in Article 25 4 4 of the Constitution The respondent has contended in these proceedings for an alternative obligation namely an obligation on the appellants that when a Bill is signed in English by the President the Irish version of that Act must be made available on terms no less favourable than the English version From a constitutional point of view it seems to me that the provisions of Article 25 fully provide for such an event If a Bill is signed by the President and is presented in one language a translation thereof must be available in the other language Where therefore a Bill is presented in Irish an English version of the Bill as signed must be made available to meet the constitutional requirement Similarly if the Bill is presented in English a version or translation of it must be made available in Irish It seems to me however that the phrase on terms no less favourable is used in reality as being the same as or not in any way materially different from simultaneously as that word is used by the respondent The phrase appears to be taken from Canadian case law On many occasions this Court finds it of assistance to consider the case law of other jurisdictions as being of use in cases concerning the interpretation of the Constitution especially where such case law involves closely similar provisions This is a very useful tool and a review of the case law of this Court makes it evident that this approach may be adopted in relevant cases Some considerable reference is made in particular in the written submissions of the respondent to the case law of Canada and to the manner in which it has approached the constitutional obligations imposed there in respect of language having regard of course to its particular political context and its Charter of Rights While accepting that this may be an appropriate approach in many cases I am nevertheless not entirely convinced that the invocation of such case law from other jurisdictions such as Canada or indeed from other analogous countries as for example Belgium or South Africa is particularly helpful in reaching a view as to the correct interpretation of the particular language requirements or obligations flowing from Article 25 4 4 or Article 8 of the Constitution in this case It is axiomatic that in the case of language perhaps more so than in respect of any other cultural issue the particular social political and or historical contexts may be and often are quite different depending on the particular circumstances arising at any given time when constitutions are adopted and indeed depending on the language of the constitutional instruments themselves Further it is rare indeed for Constitutions to be drafted in precisely the same language in different jurisdictions and it is after all the language used in the Constitution which is of prime importance and which must be read in its particular context I do not consider that use of the term on terms no less favourable alters in any way the conclusions which I have reached in relation to the constitutional obligations arising Having found that no requirement exists under the Constitution for the simultaneous translation of a Bill presented in one language in the other official language the provisions of the Act of 2003 constitute in my view sufficient compliance with any contended for constitutional obligation based on the phrase on terms no less favourable The findings in O Beolain v Fahy supra do not support the respondent s argument that Article 25 4 4 when read together with Article 8 of the Constitution obliges the simultaneous translation of an Act of the Oireachtas in Irish where it is signed into law by the President in an English language version I am satisfied that so far as Acts of the Oireachtas are concerned the contended for obligation of simultaneous translation is not found by a combined reading of Article 8 with Article 25 4 4 of the Constitution Statutory Instruments I propose to deal with Statutory Instruments in general and later with Rules of Court which also fall under the rubric of Statutory Instruments but which for the reasons I state below require to be dealt with separately in the context of these proceedings In his judgment on the question of Statutory Instruments the learned High Court judge stated While the Statutory Instruments are not spelt out in the Act of 2003 and as O Beolain v Fahy held in favour of an obligation to translate Acts and Rules of Court it would seem to me to be an impediment inhibition on the Plaintiff if the S I s were not translated According to the written submissions of the respondent it is contended that on the first day of the hearing of the matter before the learned High Court judge counsel for the appellants accepted that they had a duty to issue or make available Acts of the Oireachtas and Statutory Instruments in both official languages but did not agree with the respondent as to when this should be done It is further contended on his behalf that since the learned High Court judge had concluded that Acts and Statutory Instruments are intertwined and cannot be separated from each other and that it is therefore illogical to translate Acts without translating the Statutory Instruments made under Acts this is clearly the basis for the above finding in the judgment The respondent submits that the decision of the learned High Court judge was correctly made based on this Court s judgment in O Beolain v Fahy supra and contends that having regard to the extent of the law which is available by means of Statutory Instruments including those which amend Acts of the Oireachtas no distinction can lawfully be drawn between what the respondent calls a person s right to have available all Statutory Instruments as well as all Acts in Irish and any attempt to draw any such distinction is absurd The appellants in their written submissions commence by denying that they conceded any obligation to translate Statutory Instruments during the High Court hearing or that the hearing was limited to argument as to when that obligation should be discharged They point out that the Notice of Opposition the affidavits filed and the written submissions made in the High Court all contested the existence of any such obligation and say that on the 7th December 2004 senior counsel on behalf of the appellant said he could not agree that he had made any such concession and had instructions to confirm and assert to the court the appellant s position which was that they did not accept there was any constitutional obligation to translate any or all Statutory Instruments They contend that the transcript of the High Court hearing does not support the existence of any such concession and they draw this Court s attention to the fact that the judgment nowhere recites any such concession nor was the judgment based on any such alleged concession Further the appellants argue that it is not possible from the judgment to say on what basis the finding of the learned High Court judge on Statutory Instruments was made since he had accepted that there was no mention of them in the Act of 2003 They say that such a contended for constitutional obligation simply does not exist and that the learned High Court judge was wrong in law in finding otherwise They point inter alia to the range of authorities or undertakings including statutory undertakings entitled in law to make such Statutory Instruments as supporting the absence of any constitutional obligation on

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  • gcás an tUachtarán do chur a láimhe le téacs Bille í dteanga de na teangacha oifigiúla agus sa teanga sin amháin ní foláir tiontú oifigiúil a chur amach sa teanga oifigiúil eile Is mar seo a leanas atá sé sa leagan Béarla Where the President signs the text of a Bill in one only of the official languages an official translation shall be issued in the other official language Táim sásta ag breathnú ceann ar aghaidh air nó trí léirmhíniú ceart a fháil ar an Airteagal seo nach bhfuil aon dualgas bunreachtúil ann reachtaíocht a achtú sa dá theanga oifigiúla Is léir go bhféadfar an phríomhtheanga oifigiúil Gaeilge nó an dara teanga oifigiúil Béarla a úsáid chun críche reachtaíocht a achtú Ní gá Bille nuair a chuireann an tUachtarán a lámh leis a shíniú sa dá theanga Is léir é seo freisin ó fhoclaíocht an Airteagail féin a shamhlaíonn tíolacadh Bille le lámh a chur leis agus a fhógairt i dteanga oifigiúil amháin de bhrí nach mbeadh aon riachtanas ann thairis sin tagairt do leagan sa teanga oifigiuil eile Chomh luath is a chuireann an tUachtarán a lámh le Bille i dteanga amháin is Acht é ansin de bhua fhorálacha Airteagal 25 4 1 den Bhunreacht Is mar seo a leanas a léann an tAirteagal sin Déanann dlí de gach Bille an lá a chuireann an tUachtarán a lámh leis faoin mBunreacht seo agus is dlí é an lá sin agus ón lá sin amach agus mura léir a mhalairt d intinn ina thaobh is é an lá sin a thagann sé i ngníomh Mar sin cé go dtráchtann Airteagal 25 4 4 ar leagan a bheith ar fáil sa teanga oifigiúil eile sa chás nach gcuirtear Bille de láimh ach i leagan amháin dealraíonn sé domsa gurb é léirmhíniú ceart an Airteagail seo nár gurb é an rud a chuirfear ar fáil ná tiontú oifigiúil Bille chomh luath is a chuirtear lámh leis is é sin Acht an Oireachtais Glacann an freagróir leis seo toisc nach ndéantar aon argóint go gciallaíonn Airteagal 25 4 4 gur cheart leagan de Bhille a chur ar fáil go comhuaineach ós rud é go bhfuil an freagróir ag tagairt i gcónaí do dhualgas maidir le hAchtanna an Oireachtais Cé go ndéanann an freagróir roinnt plé freisin ar an idirdhealú idir a lámh a chur leis agus a fhógairt ní mheasaim gur féidir leis seo an chiall atá le hAirteagal 25 4 4 i ndáiríre a athrú Níl aon rud le rá in Airteagal 25 4 4 maidir le tráthúlacht an cháis rud a aithnigh an Chúirt seo in Ó Beoláin v Fahy supra is é sin le rá maidir leis an gceist a bhaineann le cathain a chuirfear ar fáil leagan de Bhille sa teanga seachas an teanga ina gcuirtear lámh leis Níl aon fhocal nó frása teamparálta ama le fáil i gceachtar leagan teanga den Airteagal seo a bhí in úsáid ag dréachtóirí an Bhunreachta a d fhéadfadh tacú le tuairim an fhreagróra go bhfuil dualgas ag éirí ón bhfoclaíocht atá in úsáid chun aistriúchán comhuaineach a thabhairt nó a chur ar fáil sa teanga oifigiúil eile nuair a cuireann an Uachtarán lamh le Bille i dteanga oifigiúil amháin I leagan Gaeilge an Airteagail ní labhraítear ach amháin faoi I gcás an tUachtarán do chur a láimhe ní foláir tiontú oifigiúil a chur amach cé go dtráchtann an leagan Béarla air Where the President signs the text of a Bill an official translation shall be issued Ní thugann an focal I gcás i nGaeilge a chiallaíonn Where nó In the case of ná an frása Where the President signs i mBéarla aon tráthúlacht faoi leith gan trácht ar riachtanas a ghearradh go gcaithfidh fáil chomhuaineach a bheith ag an bpobal ar Bhille arna chur de láimh i dteanga amháin sa dara teanga Níl aon éifeacht ag an dualgas arna léiriú ag ní foláir tiontú a chur amach i nGaeilge agus ag an official translation shall be issued i mBéarla ar an gceist a bhaineann le tráthúlacht an dualgais sin Ar an lámh eile má bhí sé i gceist ag lucht cheaptha an Bhunreachta nuair a chuireann an tUachtarán a lámh le Bille i dteanga oifigiúil amháin gur chóir go mbeadh aistriúchán den leagan sin ar fáil go comhuaineach sa teanga oifigiúil eile mar atá á áitiú ag an bhfreagróir bheadh an dualgas sin sách simplí lena ghearradh agus trí theanga chomh simplí agus chomh díreach céanna a úsáid D fhéadfaí foráil a dhéanamh mar shampla sa chás go gcuireann an tUachtarán téacs Bille a thíolactar i dteanga amháin de láimh gur chóir go gcuirfeadh an tUachtarán a lámh le leagan den Bhille sa teanga oifigiúil eile ag an am céanna nó láithreach bonn ina dhiaidh sin Nó d fhéadfaí foráil a bheith déanta go simplí sa chás go gcuireann an tUachtarán a lámh le Bille i dteanga oifigiúil amháin gur chóir tiontú oifigiúil de sin a fhoilsiú go comhuaineach sa teanga oifigiúil eile Níor glacadh le ceachtar de na réitigh an simplí sin áfach Ina theannta sin táim sásta go bhfuil tacaíocht laistigh d Airteagal 25 4 féin don tuairim gurb é ba chóir a aistriú ná leagan de Bhille arna chur de láimh ag an Uachtarán gan aon teorainn ama a bheith i gceist lena haistriú Léann Airteagal 25 4 5 Chomh luath agus is féidir é tar éis Bille a shíniú agus é a fhógairt ina dhlí ní foláir an téacs den dlí sin lena mbeidh lámh an Uachtaráin nó i gcás lámh an Uachtaráin a bheith le téacs Gaeilge agus le téacs Sacs Bhéarla an dlí sin an dá théacs sínithe sin a chur isteach ina iris nó ina n iris in oifig Iriseoir na Cúirte Uachtaraí agus is fianaise dhochloíte ar fhorálacha an dlí sin an téacs a chuirfear isteach ina iris nó an dá théacs a chuirfear isteach ina n iris amhlaidh Sa chás go mbeadh argóint an fhreagróra ceart is beag fiúntais a bheadh ag forálacha Airteagal 25 4 4 dá ma rud é go raibh an dá leagan le bheith ar fáil go comhuaineach ar sínú an tUachtarán níl aon amhras faoi ach nach ndéanfadh lucht ceaptha an Bhunreachta foráil don dá chás dhifriúla in Airteagal 25 4 5 áit a gcuirtear leagan teanga amháin de Bhille i láthair an Uachtaráin nó ina áit sin Bille atá le cur de láimh sa dá theanga oifigiúla Sula ligim ar leataobh an ghné seo den achomharc ba chóir dom tagairt a dhéanamh do na breithiúnais mhionsonraithe agus léannta a thug McGuinness Brmh agus Hardiman Brmh i gcás Ó Beoláin v Fahy supra Tá sé i gceist agam déileáil leis an gcás sin freisin faoin gcéad cheannteideal eile ach tá gné áirithe amháin de na breithiúnais a chaithfidh mé a lua ag an bpointe seo de bhrí go ndéanann an freagróir an cinneadh seo a ghairm mar thaca lena argóint maidir le hAirteagal 25 4 4 Dheonaigh gach aon breitheamh dearbhuithe de réir théarmaí an Fhógra Foriarratais arna thíolacadh den chéad uair ag an iarratasóir sna himeachtaí athbhreithnithe bhreithiúnaigh san Ard Chúirt Rinneadh an dearbhú mar a bhí á lorg ann i dtéarmaí dualgais bhunreachtúil a éilíodh nó dualgais chun Achtanna an Oireachtais a chur ar fáil don phobal ar a n áirítear an t iarratasóir sa chás sin when the President signs the text of a Bill in the second official language I leagan Gaeilge an dearbhaithe a bhí á lorg faightear an when sa chomhthéacs sin díreach mar is ceart nuair a gcuireann an tUachtarán a lámh Áitíonn an tUasal O Tuathail abhcóide sinsearach don fhreagróir san achomharc seo in argóint ó bhéal go léirítear an cur síos a dhéantar ar an dualgas atá ar fáil in Airteagal 25 4 4 tríd úsáid a bhaint as an téarma when nuair seo sna leaganacha Béarla agus Gaeilge Ní úsáideann Airteagal 25 4 4 áfach ceachtar de na focail when nó nuair agus creidim go bhfuil an baol ann lena n úsáid go dtabharfar forchiall an difriúil don Airteagal seo de bhrí go bhféadfadh ciall theamparálta a bheith ag na focail seo i gcomhthéacsanna áirithe Ní aontaím mar sin le hargóint an fhreagróra gur ceart é a ra go bhfuil an dualgas curtha síos mar sin Níor mheas breithiúnas McGuinness Brmh nó Hardiman Brmh go bhfuil riachtannas bunreachtúil ann faoi Airteagal 25 4 4 aistriúchán comhuaineach a dhéanamh Táimse tar éis a rá nach bhfuil aon fhocail theamparálta theoranta san Airteagal arna ghairm ag an bhfreagróir sa chás seo chun tacú le dualgas bunreachtúil aistriúchán comhuaineach a dhéanamh Táim sásta nuair a léitear Airteagal 25 4 4 i gceart nach ann don dualgas bunreachtúil atá áitithe maidir le haistriúchán comhuaineach a chur ar fáil sa phríomhtheanga oifigiúil de Bhille arna chur de láimh sa teanga eile is é sin le rá Acht an Oireachtais An Argóint maidir le hAirteagal 8 Téann an freagróir mar sin féin i dtuilleamaí Airteagal 25 4 4 nuair a léitear é i gcomhar le hAirteagal 8 den Bhunreacht mar thaca lena argóint go gcuireann an Bunreacht in ainneoin sin dualgas chun tiontú nó leagan d Acht an Oireachtais a chur ar fáil go comhuaineach chomh luath is a chuireann an tUachtarán a lámh leis Léann Airteagal 8 den Bhunreacht mar seo a leanas 1 Ós í an Ghaeilge an teanga náisiúnta is í an phríomhtheanga oifigiúil í 2 Glactar leis an Sacs Bhéarla mar theanga oifigiúil eile 3 Ach féadfar socrú a dhéanamh le dlí d fhonn ceachtar den dá theanga sin a bheith ina haonteanga le haghaidh aon ghnó nó gnóthaí oifigiúla ar fud an Stáit ar fad nó in aon chuid de Déantar argóint an fhreagróra ar an bhforas d fhonn aitheantas iomchuí agus ceart a thabhairt do stádas bunreachtúil na Gaeilge mar an phríomhtheanga oifigiúil go gcaithfidh leaganacha Gaeilge d Achtanna an Oireachtais a bheith ar fáil go comhuaineach leis an leagan Béarla dóibh sin b fhéidir ar mian leo Gaeilge a úsáid ina gcuid gnóthaí dlí mar shampla Braitheann an argóint sin go pointe áirithe ar an tuairim go bhfuil dualgas bunreachtúil ann Achtanna den sórt sin a bheith ar fáil ar théarmaí nach lú a mbuntáiste ná an tAcht i mBéarla frása a tógadh is cosúil ó chásdlí áirithe i gCeanada arna ghairm in Ó Beoláin v Fahy supra Ina bhreithiúnas sa chás reatha áfach ní dhearna an breitheamh Ard Chúirte léannta aon tagairt in aon chor faoi Airteagal 8 d an Bhunreachtas Áitíonn na hachomharcóirí nach bhfuil sé iomchuí féachaint ar bhunreachtanna tíortha cosúil le Ceanada nó ar chásdlí maidir le bunreachtanna den sórt sin nuair a bhítear i mbun machnaimh ar Airteagal 8 toisc i gcodarsnacht leis an seasamh in Éirinn nuair a rinneadh dlí den Bhunreacht ní raibh an Stát scartha nó roinnte in dhá phobal teanga ar leithligh agus dhifriúla mar a bhí i gcás Cheanada rud a spreagann ábhar machnaimh difriúil ar fad Cé go raibh limistéir Ghaeltachta laistigh den Stát níorbh áiteanna iad sin nár múineadh Béarla go coitianta iontu nó nár tuigeadh cloiseadh nó nár labhraíodh Béarla iontu Agus ina theanta sin is iomaí duine ar fud an Stáit a mhaígh go raibh siad oilte i nGaeilge agus i mBéarla araon Ní hé an cás é mar sin gur glacadh le hAirteagal 8 mar a thugann an freagróir le fios ag féachaint le dhá phobal mona theangacha a éascú laistigh de Stát amháin mar a bhí i gcás Cheanada Is a mhalairt de scéal a bhí ann dar leo Agus an Bunreacht á ghlacadh ní raibh foráil ann ach do cheangal éigeantach amháin maidir le tiontú oifigiúil téacsanna dlí agus ní raibh i gceist an uair sin féin ach Achtanna an Oireachtais agus sin é an dualgas atá in Airteagal 25 4 4 Déanann siad an argóint nach féidir le hAirteagal 8 na dualgais a éiríonn faoi Airteagal 25 a thabhairt don fhreagróir ina argóint Áitíonn na hachomharcóirí freisin nach féidir leis an bhfreagróir iarracht a dhéanamh mar a dhéanann sé go ndéanfaí aistriú go Gaeilge mar a mholann sé ar Chorpas Dlí na hÉireann de bhun fhorálacha Airteagal 25 4 4 nuair a léitear iad i gcomhar le hAirteagal 8 Cuireann siad béim air nach bhfuil foráil in aon chor sa Bhunreacht a éilíonn go ndéanfaí aistriú ar Reachtanna réamh 1922 ná go deimhin ar Ionstraimí Reachtúla nó ar Orduithe réamh 1922 Níl aon dualgas sa Bhunreacht ach an oiread chun téacsanna a bhaineann leis an dlí coiteann nó le breithiúnais chúirteanna na hÉireann a aistriú Níl aon fhoráil idirthréimhseach sa Bhunreacht sa leagan a ghlacadh i 1937 ag éileamh go ndéanfaí dlíthe atá ann cheana a aistriú laistigh d aon thréimhse ama Níl aon chúis ann mar sin dar leis an argóint Airteagal 25 4 4 a fhorléiriú ar bhealach atá i gcontrátha leis na focail a roghnaíodh chun an dualgas atá ann a léiriú nuair a léitear go nádúrtha é Ní féidir le hiarracht an fhreagróra forálacha Airteagal 8 den Bhunreacht a ghairm a bheith mar bhonn cirt go dleathach ná go bunreachtúil le haon athrú ar an seasamh sin Téann an freagróir i gcoinne na hargóinte deiridh sin nuair a deir sé nach bhfuil siad ach ag iarraidh seasamh leis na dearbhuithe a deonaíodh san Ard Chúirt i dtaca le hAchtanna an Oireachtais le hIonstraimí Reachtúla agus le Rialacha na Cúirte Téann siad i dtuilleamaí bhreithiúnais McGuinness Brmh agus Hardiman Brmh in Ó Beoláin supra Sa chéad cheann díobh sin dúradh Is ceist í seo faoi cheart dul chun cúirte daoine a labhraíonn ceachtar den dá theanga oifigiúla atá ainmnithe in Airteagal 8 den Bhunreacht Sa dara ceann dúradh Ag cuimhneamh ar stádas na Gaeilge feictear domsa go bhfuil siad siúd ar mian leo í a úsáid i dteideal iomlán é sin a dhéanamh agus i dteideal gach áis atá riachtanach chun é a dhéanamh ar a laghad sa mhéid is atá áiseanna dá leithéid at fáil dóibh siúd a úsáideann an dara teanga oifigiúil Conclúid maidir le hAirteagal 8 Ní mheasaim go dtacaíonn ceachtar den dá ráiteas deiridh seo astu féin agus go háirithe le haird ar an gcomhthéacs inar úsáideadh iad sa chás thuas leis an dualgas atá á áitiú eadhon gur chóir nuair a léitear é le hAirteagal 8 den Bhunreacht Airteagal 25 4 4 a léirmhíniú mar rud a chiallaíonn go bhfuil dualgas ar na hachomharcóirí leagan comhuaineach nó aistriúchán den Acht i nGaeilge a chur ar fáil nuair a chuireann an tUachtarán a lámh le Bille a tíolacadh di le síniú i mBéarla Níl aon amhras faoi ach go dtacaíonn an breithiúnas thuas agus cúpla ceann eile a dtagraítear dóibh freisin sa bhreithiúnas sin leis an áitiú gur chóir aistriúcháin den sórt sin a chur ar fáil laistigh de thréimhse ama réasúnta nó fiú amháin laistigh de thréimhse ama an ghearr rud a ndíreoidh mé air níos déanaí sa bhreithiúnas seo Ina theannta sin cé go ngairtear Airteagal 8 3 ní thugann sé seo aon chúnamh don fhreagróir i ndáiríre Tá stádas an dá theanga leagtha amach go soiléir in Airteagal 8 1 agus Airteagal 8 2 Is foráil chumasúcháin é Airteagal 8 3 a cheadaíonn agus nach gcuireann mar dhualgas forálacha dlí a ghlacadh tríd Acht nó ar shlí éigin eile d fhonn ceachtar den dá theanga a úsáid chun críoch oifigiúil amháin nó níos mó ar fud an Stáit ar fad nó in aon chuid de Mar fhoráil chumasúcháin dar le hargóint na n achomharcóirí is é atá agus a bhí i gceist nó mar aidhm ag lucht ceaptha an Bhunreachta arna léiriú in Airteagal 8 3 ná caomhnú agus síneadh úsáid na Gaeilge a éascú agus aontaím leis sin Ardaíodh an chiall atá le hAirteagal 8 3 agus chinn an Chúirt seo í an Príomh Bhreitheamh O Dalaigh Kingsmill Moore Brmh agus Walsh Brmh in Attorney General v Coyne and Wallace 1967 101 ILTR 17 agus inar dúirt Kingsmill Moore I was at first inclined to the view that 8 3 meant that an official document to be operative must be both in Irish and English unless provision had been made by law sanctioning the use of only one of the languages It was argued for the Attorney General that the true meaning of the Article was that either languages sic might be used unless provision had been made by law that one language only was to be used for some one or more official purposes On consideration I consider this construction to be correct Accordingly I am of opinion that the decision of the District Justice was not correct and the case should be sent back to him to enter continuances D aontaigh Walsh Brmh go sainráite leis an léamh a rinne Kingsmill Moore Brmh ar Airteagal 8 3 den Bhunreacht Ina theannta sin in Delap v An dAire Eli agus Cirt 1980 1998 IR Tuairiscí Speisialta 46 ghlac O Hanlon leis go raibh sé faoi cheangal ag an léirmhíniú thuas ar Airteagal 8 3 den Bhunreacht Maidir le hAirteagail 8 1 agus 8 2 rinneadh seachadadh ar na breithiúnais in Ó Beoláin v Fahy supra i gcomhthéacs áirithe Ní mór é sin a leagan amach Bhí an t iarratasóir cúisithe as cionta i gcontrátha le forálacha áirithe den Acht um Thrácht ar Bhóithre 1961 arna leasú Bhí Gaeilge ag an bhfear agus seirbheáladh an toghairm air i nGaeilge agus is i nGaeilge a dhéileáil na Gardaí leis ar feadh an fhiosrúcháin ar fad Bhí sé tugtha le fios aige don Chúirt go raibh fonn air a chosaint a bheith i nGaeilge agus go raibh sé ag iarraidh go ndéanfaí na doiciméid chuí a sheirbheáil air i nGaeilge agus go háirithe bhí sé ag iarraidh leaganacha Gaeilge den Acht um Thrácht ar Bhóithre 1994 ina ndearnadh leasú ar Acht na bliana 1961 den Acht um Thrácht ar Bhóithre 1995 agus de Rialacha na Cúirte Dúiche 1997 ionas go bhféadfadh sé a chosaint a dhéanamh sa chúirt i nGaeilge Ní raibh na doiciméid sin ar fáil Mar thoradh air sin cuireadh na himeachtaí sa Chúirt Dúiche ar athló ó am go ham chun ligean d údaráis an Stáit na doiciméid a bhí á lorg a chur ar fáil agus lena chinntiú go raibh breitheamh a raibh Gaeilge ar a thoil aige nó aici ar fáil chun an cás a éisteacht Cuireadh dréacht aistriúcháin nó aistriúcháin neamhoifigiúla de na hAchtanna um Thrácht ar Bhóithre 1994 agus 1995 ar fáil ach níor cuireadh aon aistriúchán ar fáil de Rialacha na Cúirte Dúiche agus lorg an t iarratasóir trína abhcóide ordú ag treorú don Stiúrthóir Ionchúiseamh Poiblí iad a chur ar fáil Dhiúltaigh an Breitheamh Dúiche an t iarratas sin agus lorg an t iarratasóir athbhreithniú breithiúnach ar a n áirítear Ordú Toirmisc chomh maith le dearbhuithe Ba iad na dearbhuithe a lorgaíodh in aghaidh an Aire Dlí agus Cirt Comhionannais agus Athchóirithe Dlí agus na hÉireann ná ar an gcéad dul síos go raibh dualgas bunreachtúil ar na páirtithe sin aistriúcháin go Gaeilge a chur ar fáil don iarratasóir ar na hAchtanna um Thrácht ar Bhóithre 1994 agus 1995 ar an dara dul síos go raibh dualgas bunreachtúil ar na cosantóirí sin ar a n áirítear an t iarratasóir Achtanna an Oireachtais a chur ar fáil don phobal nuair a chuireann an tUachtarán a lámh le téacs Bille sa dara teanga agus dearbhú deiridh go raibh dualgas bunreachtúil ar na cosantóirí céanna tiontú oifigiúil a chur ar fáil d Ionstraim Reachtúil Uimh 93 1997 Rialacha na Cúirte Dúiche 1997 don phobal ar a n áirítear an t iarratasóir Diúltaíodh san Ard Chúirt do na faoisimh a lorgaíodh Rinne an t iarratasóir achomharc leis an gCúirt seo Rinne an triúr breitheamh seachadadh ar bhreithiúnais sa Chúirt seo Deir na hachomharcóirí san achomharc seo go bhfuil sé tábhachtach tuiscint a bheith ann ar na boinn dhifriúla ar a mbunaíonn an triúr breitheamh a gcuid breithiúnas Bhí beirt bhreithimh i bhfabhar an achomharcóra agus bhí duine amháin ina choinne Sa mheid go bhuineann sé le breithiúnas McGuinness Brmh a bhí i bhfabhar an achomharcóra dúirt sí sa chuid ábhartha dá breithiúnas an méid seo a leanas Mar a chuir abhcóidí ar an dá thaobh ar shúile na cúirte seo ní leagann Airteagal 25 4 4 aon fhráma ama síos maidir le soláthar aistriúcháin ar gach Bille Achta Ach is cosúil ón Airteagal ar fad gur nós imeachta sách scioptha a bhí i gceist In aon áit a bhfuil teorainneacha ama i gceist is teorainneacha gearra iad Tá an modh oibre réamh 1980 trína gcuirtí aistriúcháin ar fáil nach mór go comhuaineach le hachtú an reachta níos cosúla go mór le tiúin ghinearálta an Airteagail ná an bealach atá ann anois nach gcuirtear aistriúchán ar fáil ach amháin nuair atá gá speisialta nó práinneach leis chomh fada agus is féidir leis an gcúirt a dheimhniú Ba mhó a bheadh cuma na macántachta ar argóint na bhfreagróirí gur cheart tréimhse réasúnach ama a thabhairt don aistriúchán murach an fhíric gur ar éigin atá aon aistriúchán oifigiúil curtha ar fáil le fiche bliain Ní féidir tréimhse réasúnach a thabhairt air sin Go deimhin féin ní dócha go gcuirfí aistriúchán go deo ar na reachtanna atá i gceist sa chás seo reachtanna atá á n úsáid go laethúil ins an Chúirt Dúiche murach iarracht an iarratasóra agus a chomhairleoirí dlí Chinn McGuinness Brmh freisin mar seo a leanas Deirimse go bhfuil an Stát thar thréimhse ama fada ag sárú an dualgais bhunreachtúil seo go scannalach neamhnáireach agus go mba cheart don Chúirt seo aird a dhíriú go poiblí ar nádúr sainordaitheach an dualgais atá leagtha síos in Airteagal 25 4 4 Deonaím an faoiseamh a d iarr an t iarratasóir in alt e den fhógra foriarratais Agus mé ag tabhairt an fhaoisimh dhearbhaithe seo táim ag glacadh leis go gcuirfidh an Stát chuige leis an bhfaillí láithreach a leigheas taobh istigh de achar gearr Ghlac Hardiman Brmh dearcadh difriúil ina bhreithiúnas agus eisean i bhfabhar an achomharcóra freisin Agus súil á choinneáil aige ar fhorbairt na bhforálacha maidir leis an nGaeilge i mBunreacht Saorstát Éireann agus cinntí an Phríomh Bhreithimh Kennedy glactha aige in O Foghludha v McClean 1934 I R 469 rinne sé tagairt ansin do bhreithiúnas O Hanlon Brmh in Ó Murchú v Registrar of Companies the Minister for Industry Commerce 1988 I R S R 42 a chuir béim ar an tábhacht a bhí le forálacha Airteagal 8 den Bhunreacht ó thaobh aitheantas a thabhairt don Ghaeilge ar bhonn níos láidre ná mar a thugtar in Airteagal 4 den Bhunreacht roimhe sin Dúirt Hardiman Brmh an méid seo a leanas Is í mo thuairimse nach féidir an Ghaeilge arb í an teanga náisiúnta í agus san am céanna arb í príomhtheanga oifigiúil an Stáit í a eisiamh ar a laghad in éagmais dlí den chineál a shamhlaítear le hAirteagal 8 3 ó aon chuid de dhioscúrsa poiblí an náisiúin nó ó aon ghnó oifigiúil de chuid an Stáit nó de chuid aon cheann dá bhaill Ná ní féidir caitheamh léi sna comhthéacsanna seo ar shlí ar bith nach bhfuil chomh fabhrach leis an tslí a gcaitear leis an dara teanga oifigiúil Ná ní féidir iad siúd atá inniúil agus ar mian leo í a úsáid chun iad féin a chur in iúl nó chun cumarsáide a chosc nó a fhágáil faoi mhíbhuntáiste agus iad á dhéanamh sin in aon chomhthéacs náisiúnta nó oifigiúil Ag cur an chinnidh sin i bhfeidhm tháinig sé ar an gconclúid nach bhféadfaí an t achomharcóir sa chás sin a chur faoi mhíbhuntáiste i gcomhthéacs cúisimh choiriúil a chosaint in imeachtaí na Cúirte Dúiche agus go raibh dualgas ann an dá Acht a lorgaíodh agus Rialacha infheidhmithe na Cúirte Dúiche a chur ar fáil don pháirtí sin i nGaeilge Maidir leis an tsaincheist shonrach a bhaineann leis an gceanglas bunreachtúil leagan Gaeilge a chur ar fáil de Bhille arna thíolacadh don Uachtarán agus arna shíniú aici níor mheas sé go raibh an argóint dhúbailte a cuireadh i láthair thar ceann an Stáit inmholta Bhain an chéad argóint le heaspa aon dualgas teamparálta shonrach a bheith sa Bhunreacht agus bhain an dara ceann leis an dualgas a bhí ag luí ní leis na freagróirí ach le Tithe an Oireachtais Ní gá dom an dara ábhar sin a bhreithniú i gcomhthéacs an achomhairc seo Mar sin féin maidir leis an gceist a bhaineann le cathain a thagann an dualgas chun cinn maidir le haistriúchán a chur ar fáil deir Hardiman Brmh De réir na hargóna seo b fhéidir go n imeodh na blianta agus an reachtaíocht atá i gceist á húsáid go laethúil gan aon aistriúchán a bheith ar fáil gan an Stát a bheith ag teip ina oibleagáid chomh fada is a bheadh sé i gceist dáiríre ag na húdaráis an t aistriúchán a chur ar fáil ar dháta éigin sa todhchaí Caithfidh go bhfuil sé soiléir nach réitíonn an argóint seo ar bhealach ar bith le stádas bunreachtúil na teanga náisiúnta ná leis an bpolasaí atá ann le fada maidir leis an dátheangachas i ngnó na gcúirteanna a cuireadh in iúl arís i bhfoirm reachtúil chomh déanach le 1998 I mo thuairimse caithfidh go bhfuil sé le tuiscint ó théarmaí Airteagal 25 4 4 go bhfuil ar an laghad an riachtanas ann an t aistriúchán oifigiúil a sholáthar chomh luath agus is féidir agus is soiléir go bhfuil ábhar maith argóna ann nach ndearnadh sa chás seo go gcaithfidh sé a bheith ar fáil sula dtugtar faoin Acht a chur i bhfeidhm ar dhuine atá inniúil agus ar mian leis a ghnóthaí oifigiúla a dhéanamh trí Ghaeilge Ina theannta sin is é an t aon chúis a d fhéadfaí a cheapadh leis an riachtanas atá ann aistriúchán oifigiúil a eisiúint ná go bhféadfadh na daoine sin arbh é a mian dleathach é a ngnó dlíthiúil a dhéanamh sa cheann sin de na teangacha oifigiúla nárbh í an teanga í ina ritheadh an bille Ó tá siad i dteideal é sin a dhéanamh is léir go bhfuil sé míréasúnach sa ghnáthchiall agus sa chiall dhlíthiúil atá leis an téarma sin an t aistriúchán sin a choinneáil uathu ar feadh tréimhse ar bith ama agus cinnte ar feadh na mblianta agus fiú ar feadh deich nó scór de bhlianta nó breis mar a tharla faraor i gcás reachtanna iomadúla Measaim go dtugann breithiúnais McGuinness Brmh agus Hardiman Brmh i gcás Ó Beoláin v Fahy supra tacaíocht iomlán do na conclúidí nach bhfuil na hachomharcóirí i dteideal aistriúcháin ar Achtanna an Oireachtais a choinneáil siar ar feadh tréimhsí ama atá míréasúnta agus nó a théann caol díreach i gcoinne stádas na Gaeilge mar an chéad phríomhtheanga oifigiúil de bhun Airteagal 8 den Bhunreacht Is léir ón dá bhreithiúnas go gcaithfear an dualgas maidir le leaganacha Gaeilge a chur ar fáil d Achtanna an Oireachtais a chomhlíonadh laistigh de thréimhse ama réasúnta nó chomh luath agus is féidir é sin a dhéanamh Níor thángthas ar aon chinneadh mar sin féin in aon bhreithiúnas maidir le dualgas leagan d Acht a chur ar fáil go comhuaineach nó ag an am céanna Dá mbeadh sé i gceist é sin a dhéanamh breithním gur dóigh go mbeadh sé luaite go ríshoiléir Dá bhféadfaí ar an lámh eile agus aird ar aon débhrí a d fhéadfadh a theacht chun cinn ó úsáid na bhfocal when nuair san fhaoiseamh a lorgaíodh agus a deonaíodh i gcás Ó Beoláin a thuiscint as sin go raibh sé i gceist go léireodh sé sin dualgas comhuaineach den sórt sin ní aontóinn féin le léirmhíniú den sórt sin rud nach ritheann ó ghnáth theanga Airteagal 25 ná ó na breithiúnais I gcás Ó Beoláin is léir nár cheap ceachtar de na mór bhreithiúnais gur comhlíonadh an dualgas bunreachtúil a thagann chun cinn ó Airteagal 25 4 4 ar feadh tréimhse fada ama Tá sé áisiúil arís ar ais forálacha Acht 2003 a lua agus alt 7 a fhorálann A luaithe is féidir tar éis aon Acht den Oireachtas a achtú déanfar an téacs den chéanna a chló agus a fhoilsiú go comhuaineach i ngach ceann de na teangacha oifigiúla béim curtha leis Is léir dar liom go leanann an fhoráil seo go dlúth cinneadh Hardiman Brmh in Ó Beoláin v Fahy supra go gcaithfear na haistriúcháin a chur ar fáil chomh luath agus is féidir Dealraítear domsa freisin go bhfuiltear ag comhlíonadh an dualgais a bhaineann le haistriúchán in Airteagal 25 4 4 den Bhunreacht go dóthanach agus go hiomchuí Áitíonn an freagróir sna himeachtaí seo gur chóir dualgas malartach a fháil eadhon dualgas a bheith ar na hachomharcóirí gur chóir nuair a shíníonn an tUachtarán Bille i mBéarla an leagan Gaeilge den Acht sin a chur ar fáil ar théarmaí nach lú a mbuntáiste ná an leagan Béarla Ag féachaint air ar bhonn bunreachtúil dealraíonn sé domsa go bhfuil foráil iomlán i bhforálacha Airteagal 25 le haghaidh rud den sórt sin Má shíníonn an tUachtarán Bille agus má thíolactar é i dteanga amháin caithfidh aistriúchán den bhille sin a bheith ar fáil sa teanga eile Sa chás mar sin go ndéantar Bille a thíolacadh i nGaeilge caithfear leagan Béarla den Bhille mar a síníodh é a chur ar fáil chun an ceanglas bunreachtúil a chomhlíonadh Ar an gcaoi chéanna má dhéantar an Bille a thíolacadh i mBéarla caithfear leagan nó aistriúchán de a chur ar fáil i nGaeilge Is cosúil domsa áfach go n úsáidtear an frása ar théarmaí nach lú a mbuntáiste i ndáiríre mar rud atá mar an gcéanna nó mar rud nach bhfuil difriúil go hábhartha ó go comhuaineach mar atá an focal sin in úsáid ag an bhfreagróir Is cosúil gur tóigeadh an frása ó chásdlí i gCeanada Is minic a tharlaíonn sé go gcuidíonn sé leis an gCúirt féachaint ar chásdlí i ndlínsí eile toisc é a bheith úsáideach i gcásanna a bhaineann le léirmhíniú an Bhunreachta go háirithe nuair a bhíonn forálacha an chosúla sa chásdlí sin Is uirlis an áisiúil í seo agus is léir ó athbhreithniú ar chásdlí na Cúirte seo gur féidir an cur chuige seo a ghlacadh i gcásanna ábhartha Déantar tagairt mhór go háirithe in aighneachtaí scríofa an fhreagróra do chásdlí Cheanada agus don bhealach ar tugadh faoi na dualgais bunreachtúla a gearradh ansin maidir le teanga agus aird ar ndóigh ar a chomhthéacs polaitiúil áirithe agus ar Chairt um Chearta Cheanada Cé go nglacaim leis go bhféadfadh sé gur cur chuige iomchuí é seo i gcuid mhaith cásanna nílim go hiomlán cinnte ag an am céanna go gcuidíonn gairm chásdlí den sórt sin ó dhlínsí eile cosúil le Ceanada nó go deimhin ó thíortha analógacha eile cosúil mar shampla leis an mBeilg nó an Afraic Theas linn teacht ar thuairim cheart maidir le léirmhíniú a fháil ar na ceanglais teanga áirithe nó na dualgais a éiríonn ó Airteagal 25 4 4 nó ó Airteagal 8 den Bhunreacht sa chás seo Is soiléirseach an rud é i gcás teanga b fhéidir níos mó arís ná mar atá i gceist i gcás aon cheist chultúrtha eile go bhféadfadh na comhthéacsanna sóisialta polaitiúla agus nó stairiúla a bheith agus gur minic leo a bheith an difriúil ag brath ar na himthosca áirithe a eascraíonn ag aon am faoi leith nuair a ghlactar le bunreachtanna agus go deimhin ag brath ar theanga na n ionstraimí bunreachtúla féin Anuas air sin is annamh a dhéantar Bunreachtanna a dhréachtú sa teanga ceannann céanna i ndlínsí difriúla agus i ndeireadh na dála ar ndóigh is í an teanga a úsáidtear sa Bhunreacht an ceann is tábhachtaí ar fad agus nach mór a léamh sa chomhthéacs ar leith Ní dóigh liom go n athraíonn úsáid an téarma ar théarmaí nach lú a mbuntáiste ar aon bhealach na conclúidí ar ar tháinig mé maidir leis na dualgais bunreachtúla a thagann chun cinn I ndiaidh dom fáil amach nach bhfuil ceanglas ar bith ann faoin mBunreacht aistriúchán comhuaineach a dhéanamh ar Bhille a dhéantar a thíolacadh i dteanga amháin sa teanga oifigiúil eile cuimsíonn forálacha Acht 2003 i mo thuairim comhlíonadh dóthanach le haon dualgas bunreachtúil arna háitiú bunaithe ar an bhfrása ar théarmaí nach lú a mbuntáiste Ní thugann na cinntí in Ó Beoláin v Fahy supra tacaíocht d argóint an fhreagróra go gcuireann Airteagal 25 4 4 nuair a léitear é in éineacht le hAirteagal 8 den Bhunreacht dualgas aistriúchán comhuaineach a dhéanamh ar Acht Oireachtais go Gaeilge áit a shíníonn an tUachtarán é ina dhlí i leagan Béarla Táim sásta chomh fada is a bhaineann sé le hAchtanna an Oireachtais nach n aimsítear an dualgas atá á háitiú maidir le haistriúchán comhuaineach trí Airteagal 8 a léamh in éineacht le hAirteagal 25 4 4 den Bhunreacht Ionstraimí Reachtúla Tá sé beartaithe agam déileáil le hIonstraimí Reachtúla ar bhonn ginearálta agus níos déanaí le Rialacha na Cúirte a thagann freisin faoi cheannteideal Ionstraimí Reachtúla ach a gcaithfear ar na cúiseanna a luaim thíos caitheamh leo astu féin i gcomhthéacs na n imeachtaí seo Ina bhreithiúnas ar an gceist a bhaineann le hIonstraimí Reachtúla dúirt an breitheamh Ard Chúirte léannta While the Statutory Instruments are not spelt out in the Act of 2003 and as O Beolain v Fahy held in favour of an obligation to translate Acts and Rules of Court it would seem to me to be an impediment inhibition on the Plaintiff if the S I s were not translated Dar le haighneachtaí scríofa an fhreagróra áitítear gur ghlac abhcóide na n achomharcóirí leis ar an gcéad lá a éisteadh an cás os comhair an bhreithimh Ard Chúirte léannta go raibh dualgas orthu Achtanna an Oireachtais agus Ionstraimí Reachtúla a chur amach agus a chur ar fáil sa dá theanga oifigiúla ach nár aontaigh siad leis an bhfreagróir maidir le cathain ba chóir é sin a dhéanamh Áitítear ina theannta sin thar a cheann toisc go ndearna an breitheamh Ard Chúirte léannta a bhreithiúnas bunaithe ar a chonclúid go bhfuil Achtanna agus Ionstraimí Reachtúla fite fuaite ina chéile agus nach féidir iad a scaradh óna chéile agus nach bhfuil ciall ar bith leis mar sin Achtanna a aistriú gan na hIonstraimí Reachtúla a rinneadh faoi na hAchtanna a aistriú freisin Deir an freagróir go ndearnadh cinneadh an bhreithimh Ard Chúirte léannta i gceart bunaithe ar bhreithiúnas na Cúirte seo in Ó Beoláin v Fahy supra agus áitíonn sé agus aird aige ar an méid dlí atá ar fáil trí mheán Ionstraimí Reachtúla ar a n áirítear iad sin a leasaíonn Achtanna an Oireachtais nach féidir teacht ar aon idirdhealú dleathach idir a person s right ceart an duine mar a ghlaonn an freagróir air gach Ionstraim Reachtúil a bheith ar fáil mar aon le gach Acht i nGaeilge agus níl ciall ná réasún le haon hiarracht a déantar idirdhealú den sórt sin a dhéanamh Tosnaíonn na hachomharcóirí ina gcuid aighneachtaí scríofa trí shéanadh gur ghéill siad go raibh aon dualgas ann Ionstraimí Reachtúla a aistriú le linn éisteacht na hArd Chúirte nó go raibh an éisteacht teoranta i dtaca le hargóint maidir le cathain ba chóir an dualgas sin a chomhlíonadh Deir siad go ndearna an Fógra Cur i gCoinne na mionnscríbhinní a comhdaíodh agus na haighneachtaí scríofa ar fad a rinneadh san Ard Chúirt agóid i gcoinne aon dualgas den sórt sin agus deir siad go dúirt abhcóide sinsearach thar ceann an achomharcóra ar an 7ú Nollaig 2004 nach bhféadfadh sé aontú leis go raibh a leithéid de ghéilleadh déanta riamh aige agus go raibh treoracha aige seasamh an achomharcóra a dhearbhú agus a dheimhniú don chúirt Ba é an seasamh sin ná nár ghlac siad leis go raibh aon dualgas bunreachtúil ann aon cheann de na hIonstraimí Reachtúla nó iad ar fad a aistriú Áitíonn siad nach dtacaíonn athscríbhinn éisteacht na hArd Chúirte leis go raibh aon ghéilleadh den sórt sin ann agus tarraingíonn siad aird na Cúirte seo ar an bhfíoras nach ndéanann an breithiúnas réamhaithris in aon áit ar a leithéid de ghéilleadh ná nach raibh an breithiúnas bunaithe ar ghéilleadh líomhnaithe den

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