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Belfast City Council Ratifies Capital Funding for Flagship Irish Medium Facility

West Belfast organisation Glór na Móna to receive £500,000 from Council which is ‘testament to the hard work and dedication of generations of committed activists who have built the Irish language movement from below.’

The vibrant Irish language community in West Belfast received great news on Monday night (8th January) at the Belfast City council meeting where £500,000 capital funding was committed to Glór na Mona’s ‘Croí na Carraige’ project under the Council’s Neighbourhood Regeneration Scheme. Based on the Whiterock Road, Glór na Mona Móna’s current facility Gael-Ionad Mhic Goill, has built a reputation both nationally and internationally as a ground-breaking community hub for grassroots language regeneration, and Irish-medium youth work which became a vital component of the burgeoning Irish language network across the city.

An Ghael-Ionad facilitated significant growth and expansion in Glór na Móna’a community project delivery and necessitated the growing demand for a second phase capital proposal which aims to build and further develop their ambitious vision on the vacant council land adjacent to the centre.

Speaking on the Croí na Carraige capital project and the Belfast City Council funding commitment, Glór na Móna Executive Director, Feargal Mac Ionnrachtaigh, stated:

‘Monday night’s decision at full council to ratify capital funding for our Croí na Carraige proposal is fantastic news for the Irish language revival in the West of the City. This decision is testament to the hard work and dedication of generations of committed activists who have built the Irish language movement from below, often against seemingly insurmountable odds. Whilst standing on the shoulders of giants, Glór na Móna was established in 2004 by a group of local community activists with the modest intention of providing social and educational opportunities for the local Irish-speaking community in the Upper Springfield.

‘Led by an inspiring new generation of young people over the past decade, Glór na Móna has now developed into an ambitious, locally rooted, working-class organisation that pioneered Irish Medium youth work in the city and links the language revival to grassroots community development and regeneration. In recent years, our staff and young people have had to campaign and lobby vigorously to retain our youth services which were under threat of closure. The success of this campaign and the energy and drive of the Glór na Móna community in continuing to develop engaging grassroots community development practice has ensured widespread local support for the Croí na Carraige concept.

The potential of the project as a flagship national language revival facility was emphasised by Glór na Móna chairperson, Conchur Ó Muadaigh:

‘We are delighted to have secured the support of Belfast City Council and express our deep gratitude to our local Sinn Féin councillors for their consistent support. For us, however, this is only the beginning and we will be endeavouring to secure the remainder from capital funders and Government departments from in the weeks and months ahead.

‘We will undoubtedly require continued, active party political support to make this community vision a reality in the time ahead.

‘We believe that Croí na Carraige is ground-breaking grassroots community-led project that will become a flagship national Irish language regeneration project that will serve as a best practice example of grassroots minoritised language community development practice that can provide national and international inspiration to those working in language revitalisation movements.’

Irish News Story

Watch last year’s Open Day for Croí na Carraige here:

For more information please contact:

Feargal Mac Ionnrachtaigh




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