Dataset Open Access

Database of Irish language court interpreters 1754-1921

Phelan, Mary

This database formed the basis of a monograph Irish Speakers, Interpreters and the Courts published by Four Courts Press and the Irish Legal History Society in 2019.

The file is divided into five sections:

Section I consists of all records found for Grand Jury payments to Irish language court interpreters in each county from the earliest record in Donegal in 1754 to some very late records in Kerry in the 1940s. Tables are organised by year and by county and where available interpreters' names are included making it possible to establish the length of their careers. These records are supplemented by digitised newspaper records and almanacs.

Section II is based on mentions of interpreters in correspondence with the Chief Secretary's Office at Dublin Castle, information extracted from the Registered Papers

Section III links in with Section II and consists of mentions of interpreters in the form of copies of replies in the country letter books to letters received by the Chief Secretary's Office.

Section IV  focuses on National Archives of Ireland files on the Maamtrasna trials held in Dublin in 1882.

Section V  consists of transcripts of letters of application for the post of interpreter in Mayo in 1893.


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