Current Affairs Politics The Irish Language - An Ghaeilge

Sláintegate – The Irish Independent Newspaper And A Mysterious Report

The journalist and Irish civil rights campaigner Peadar Tomás Mac Ruairí is currently battling the state in the High Court with a challenge to the regulations in Ireland that require labelling on medicines distributed or sold in the country to be in the English language only. Under European Union directives labels and information leaflets with medications must be in the official languages of the EU state they are sold in. For instance in Belgium medicines are supplied with trilingual instructions in French, Dutch and German. In Ireland all information should be bilingual, in Irish and English, since both tongues are the official languages of the state (though technically Irish enjoys a superior constitutional position as the national language and the first official language of the nation while English is only a second official language). However successive Irish governments have consistently refused to implement regulations for this requirement. Hence the court case in Dublin.

However the Irish Independent newspaper has its own spin on the legal challenge:

“THE compulsory labelling of medicines in both English and Irish would add up to 10pc to the cost for patients and lead to the withdrawal of some products, according to a new report.

The report, a copy of which has been obtained by the Irish Independent, said:

  • Two companies said it would lead to cost rises of 5pc to 10pc.
  • Three makers of generic medicine predicted it would lead to the withdrawal of medicines.
  • It could lead to a number of new products not being marketed here.
  • One company suggested upfront additional costs in excess of €1m.
  • It would take five years to bring in the labelling, with a possibility of shortages.”

Unfortunately the newspaper does not provide any information or links to this alleged report. That is, its name, who carried it out and the methods of investigation. Which begs the question. Is it part of the state’s defence submission in relation to Peadar Tomás Mac Ruairí’s court case? And if so why was it leaked to the Irish Independent and by whom?

If this is not a Department of Health report then where did it come from and why was it supplied to a publication with a decades-old opposition to equal rights for Irish-speaking citizens and communities?

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