Brooklyn Journal of International Law

First Page



Since January 2017, the Northern Irish government has been shut down, with both the Executive and Assembly collapsed and the two major political coalitions deadlocked. Since then, civil servants with no major decision-making power have largely run the government. One of the deadlock’s major battlegrounds is whether there should be legislation in Northern Ireland mandating that Gaeilge, or Irish Gaelic, be treated as a language of equal status to that of English. This Note explores this issue and argues that the right to equal language protections is founded in the right to one’s cultural identity, and as such should be granted, both for the sake of peace in Northern Ireland and its people’s heritage. It suggests that a compromise similar to the one enshrined in the Good Friday Agreement is necessary to achieve both of these aims, and that the current regime is ill-equipped to handle such a compromise.