Legal Interpreters in the News in Ireland


  • Mary Phelan Dublin City University


Courts, Ireland, court reporting, judges, English language proficiency, assessing proficiency, cost, interpreter competency, interpreter ethics


This article consists of a review of court reports from national and provincial newspapers in Ireland from 2003 to 1st August 2010. The reports provide an insight into the attitudes of judges, lawyers and police officers to defendants who are not proficient in English. The issue of defendants’ proficiency in English is a recurrent one.  Coverage suggests that interpreters are not always provided in police stations or in the courts and that some judges continue to allow friends and family members to act as interpreters. Meanwhile, some solicitors consistently request interpreters for their clients. Other salient issues are cost, interpreter competency and interpreter ethics.