Complaints & Investigations

An Coimisinéir Teanga enquires into any valid complaint where public bodies are considered to have failed to fulfil their duties under the Official Languages Act, under any regulations made under the Act and/or under any scheme confirmed with a public body under the Act. An Coimisinéir Teanga also investigates any valid complaint in which it is alleged that the provisions of any other enactments relating to the status or use of Irish have been contravened.

If An Coimisinéir Teanga cannot resolve the complaint satisfactorily on an informal basis, he may launch an investigation or formal enquiry. An Coimisinéir Teanga may begin an investigation based on a complaint from the public, at the request of the Minister for Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht and/or on his own initiative.

Normally an investigation would not proceed unless an initial attempt to resolve the complaint through the Office of An Coimisinéir Teanga’s informal complaint resolution system was unsuccessful or unless it was clear that it was unlikely that the case would be resolved satisfactorily without an investigation. The investigation system is a complicated process which requires time and resources and it would not normally be conducted without good reason.

The Act provides for the imposition of a fine not exceeding €2,000 and/or imprisonment for a term of up to 6 months on a person convicted in court of refusing or failing to cooperate with or obstructing an investigation.

An information leaflet entitled Complaints to the Office of An Coimisinéir Teanga can be downloaded here. If you would like to order copies of the information leaflet, please contact us at