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Legal Challenge regarding dual-language signage block in ABC Council gets underway with High-Court Review in Belfast

A local resident’s legal challenge against ABC Council’s refusal to approve an application for dual-language street signage in Portadown got underway in the High Court today, Monday 29/1/2024.

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The case began its legal journey in a preliminary review, overseen by The Honourable Mr Justice McAlinden. Today’s proceedings were based around disclosure of documents from ABC Council, with Mr Justice McAlinden granting additional time for submissions on that disclosure. During the decision making processes for the dual language sign at Woodside Hill, all of the ABC Council and Committee meetings were held in ‘closed’ or ‘confidential’ settings, meaning many of the records and minutes are not available. No information or explanations were provided on the reasoning of why the decision making process was conducted behind closed doors.


The case will return to the High-Court on Thursday 7th March at 9.30am for an additional hearing regarding disclosure of documents, prior to the application for leave to appeal being considered. 


Pádraig Ó Tiarnaigh of Conradh na Gaeilge, said today outside the High-Court:


“Today marks the beginning of a hugely significant legal challenge relating to the promotion of the Irish language here. In this case, the application for a dual-language street sign was, as per ABC Council’s own policy criteria, entirely valid and successful. It seems to us like an incredibly unfair decision by the Council to deny that application, especially to do so in ‘confidential’ or secret sessions, offering little to no explanation to the residents or the community. This application had 64 residents voting in favour, and only 3 voting against. Rate-payers have a legitimate expectation that their local Council will uphold their own policies in full and in good faith.” 


Gavin Booth of Phoenix Law commented:


“We welcome the swift steps by the court to case manage this case in order to bring a speedy resolution to the case. We now look forward to a comprehensive response from ABC and further case management.”


See Background to case and previous press-release:,-banbridge-and-craigavon-borough-council-refuse-to-approve-a-bilingual-street-sign.html 



Conradh na Gaeilge

6 Harcourt Street, Dublin 2.
Phone: +353 (0) 1 475 7401, Fax: +353 (0) 1 475 7844, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.