After four years of diligent work and planning where many challenges and obstacles have been overcome, the doors of the new Gael-Ionad Mhic Goill community hub were officially opened on Tuesday 13 September 2016 at a packed launch in the Upper Springfield area
Glór na Móna’s ground-breaking new £400,000 capital development was jointly funded by the Department for Communities (£160,000); An Chiste Infheistíochta Gaeilge (Irish language investment fund £137,000) and Belfast City Council (£112, 000) through its Local investment fund. Glór na Móna are renowned locally and city-wide as an exemplary youth and community organisation who work through the medium of Irish and who were recently nominated by Belfast City Council Community Services, to represent Belfast for the nationwide IPB Pride of Place community awards.
This new centre is the culmination of 12 years hard grassroots work in the Upper Springfield area where Glór na Móna have been pioneering its own unique brand of bottom-up community and youth work practices through the medium of Irish. This generation of Irish language community activists are standing on the shoulders of giants, who planted the seed of the contemporary revival in the Shaws Road Gaeltacht revolution. They inspired those local parents in our own area to establish two local Gaelscoileanna, Bunscoil an tSléibhe Dhuibh and Gaelscoil na Móna, who provide us with a critical mass of young Irish speakers in the area who are driving the development of Glór na Móna.
In addition, it was a great privilege for us to name the new centre in honour of, Seán Magaoill, a Whiterock native and leading contributor to the Belfast language movement and the first efforts at community development and regeneration in the Upper Springfield area in the 1960’s and 1970s. Gael-Ionad Mhic Goill will enable us to sustain and further develop a whole range of community services and projects that create ‘Gaelsaolaíocht’ (Gaelic way if life) in the area and empower the next generation to take ownership of the language revival.