2 August 2001 Edition

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Translation victory for Dublin 11 activists

Two of the activists facing trial for the anti-racist occupation of Bertie Ahern's Drumcondra constituency office in March 2000 have won an important court victory in relation to translation rights for foreign nationals in the Irish courts.

At the first court hearing, in December 2000, the judge ruled that the two activists should not have access to state appointed and funded translators for their cases. This decision was challenged legally by means of a judicial review appeal to the High Court, and the activists won the case. Today they had to appear in court so that their level of competency in English could be assessed and it was decided that they would need translators.

This is an important ruling to bear in mind in future cases involving people who are not native English speakers.

A court hearing last week set 11 and 12 February 2002 as the trial date for the 11 activists on public order charges arising from the occupation.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1