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Court rules on appeal that family can have an Irish inscription on UK grave

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Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh

An Irish family has won their appeal in the Court of Arches, the highest ecclesiastical court in Britain, to have an Irish only inscription on their mother’s headstone. The Consistory Court of the Diocese of Coventry had rejected the family’s request for the headstone to include the inscription “in ár gcroíthe go deo” (meaning “in our hearts forever”) in Irish only.

The Chancellor had ruled that the memorial had to feature an English translation, as there was otherwise a risk that passers-by “in English-speaking Coventry” would interpret the Irish only inscription as “some kind of slogan” or “political statement”, “given the passions and feelings” he asserted were “connected with the use of Irish Gaelic”. The Court of Arches overturned that decision yesterday, permitting the Irish only inscription as chosen by the family on the headstone, with a translation of the words to be recorded in the parish register.

Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh intervened on a pro bono basis for the London Branch of Conradh na Gaeilge in support of the Keane family, led by Tim Moloney QC of Doughty Street. Blinne was instructed by Raj Chada of Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors in this case.

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