Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Tuesday 26 September 2023 Dublin: 13°C
Shutterstock/Alexandros Michailidis
# gaeilge abu
Irish to be fully recognised as an official EU language from New Year's Day
As a full official language, all documents published by the EU will be translated into Irish.

IRISH WILL BE recognised as a full status official language of the European Union from tomorrow for the first time in its history as a member state.

On New Year’s Day, Irish achieves full status as an official EU language, ending a nearly 15-year derogation that limited how much of the bloc’s material was translated into Irish.

As a full official language, all documents published by the EU will be translated into Irish.

Minister of State for European Affairs Thomas Byrne said he was “immensely proud that this derogation is ending and Irish is now a full, official EU language”.

“This reflects the tireless work that has gone into building up the capability of the EU Institutions to operate through Irish – and it is fitting that it is happening this year, a year when we will also mark the historic 50 year anniversary since Ireland signed the Treaty of Accession to the European Communities,” Byrne said.

He said the end of the derogation will “make the services of the EU more accessible for Irish speakers at home and abroad”.

“I would encourage everyone to make use of their cúpla focal, in every aspect of their life.”

When Ireland joined the EU in 1973, EU citizens had the right to correspond with institutions in Irish, but the only documents translated into Irish were treaties.

In 2005, Ireland requested that Irish become an official EU language with a restricted regime, and in 2007 Irish became a working language with limited status that meant only a small proportion of documents were translated.

A request was submitted in 2015 for full status for the Irish language, which is now set to come into effect tomorrow.

Between 2016 and the middle of 2019, the amount of documents available in Irish doubled, including legislation; website content; and political, communication, consultation and reporting material.

Now, more than 170 Irish-language staff are working in EU institutions to translate documents into Irish, which is expected to grow to around 200 by early 2022.

Minister of State for the Gaeltacht Jack Chambers said the end of the derogation is a “crucial step in the development and future of the language”.

“Irish is now on a par with other official and working EU languages ​​and this will strengthen the relationship between citizens and European administrative systems.”

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel