The High Court has been hearing a judicial review initiated by a Co Galway man who wishes to have his criminal trial presented before a bilingual jury.

Mr Peadar Ó Maicín, from Ros Muc in the Connemara Gaeltacht, is seeking to overturn a decision of the Circuit Court in Galway last year which refused his request to have his case heard before a jury which understands both Irish and English.

In an affidavit read to the court today, Peadar Ó Maicín claims his trial may be compromised if the case against him is heard solely in English, or with the aid of an interpreter.

He also stated that Irish was his first language, and only in his teens did he master the English language.

Mr Ó Maicín stated in his affidavit that he was constitutionally entitled to have his case heard solely in Irish.

Speaking in Irish on his behalf, Mr Seamus Ó Tuathail, SC, said he believed that in this case a representative bilingual jury panel could be assembled and cited Census figures for Co Galway and the Staidéar Chuimsitheach Teangeolaíoch Ar Úsáid na Gaeilge sa Ghaeltacht research commissioned by The Department Of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs to make his case.

Peadar Ó Maicín was charged in Galway Circuit Court last year with assault on another man in Co Galway. He denies the charge.

His request for a bilingual Jury was turned down by Mr Justice Raymond Groarke at the time.

The hearing continues in the High Court tomorrow.