Rights under the Official Languages Act 2003
The Official Languages Act confirms that the public has the following rights:
- The public has the right to expect that public bodies will comply with any regulations made under this Act in relation to the use of Irish in signage, stationery and recorded oral announcements (Section 9(1) of the Act).
- The public has the right to receive replies in Irish from public bodies to correspondence by post or by email written in that language (Section 9(2) of the Act).
- The public has the right to expect that public bodies will send information (for example mail shots) by post or email to the public in general or to a class of the public in general in Irish or bilingually (Section 9(3) of the Act).
- The public has the right to expect that public bodies will publish certain key documents, confirmed in the legislation, simultaneously in Irish and English including any document setting out public policy proposals, any annual report, any audited accounts or financial statement, and particular strategy statements (Section 10 of the Act).
- A person has the right to conduct his/her business before the Houses of the Oireachtas or before Oireachtas committees, sub-committees and/or joint committees through Irish (Section 6 of the Act).
- The public has the right to expect that all Acts of the Oireachtas, enacted from July 2006, will be published simultaneously in Irish and English as soon as possible after their enactment (Section 7 of the Act).
- The public has the right to use Irish in any court or in any business with any court (Section 8 of the Act).
- The public has the right to avail of all services in Irish agreed by public bodies in language schemes. The provisions of specific schemes relating to Gaeltacht areas are included here.
- The public has the right to expect An Coimisinéir Teanga to enquire into any valid complaint where public bodies are considered to have failed to fulfil their duties under the Official Languages Act, under any regulations made under the Act and/or under any scheme confirmed with a public body under the Act. The public has the right also to expect An Coimisinéir Teanga to investigate any valid complaint in which it is alleged that the provisions of any other enactments relating to the status or use of Irish have been contravened.
- The public has the right to expect to receive advice from the Office of An Coimisinéir Teanga regarding their language rights under the Act (Section 21 of the Act).