Lenadoon based Irish Medium youth club Cumann Óige an Ghleanna has been provided with alternative accommodation for its youth service following a meeting last night between the EA and representatives of the club and local MP Paul Maskey. EA agreed to provide 3 nights’ temporary accommodation for Cumann Óige an Ghleanna in St Michaels Youth Club and are assessing the damage in the Carraigart Youth Centre with an intention to reopen it again in the near future.
Speaking last night, Gerard McGuinness, Youth Leader with Cumann Óige an Ghleanna, stated:
‘We are relieved and delighted that will be able to reopen our youth club from next Monday night. EA have offered us Monday, Thursday and Sunday night in the St Michaels Youth Club at the top of the Finaghy Road. Our aim is to return to our centre in Carraigart in the medium to long term but its most important that our young will have this service back from next week. We would like to thank our young people and all those in the community who rallied to support us during this difficult time.
Feargal Mac Ionnrachtaigh, the Director of with Belfast Irish medium Youth organisation, Glór na Móna who support Cumann Óige an Ghleanna, continued:
‘We would like to thank EA for engaging with us constructively and working positively to find a speedy resolution to the unfortunate situation we found ourselves in. At last night’s meeting, we were provided with alternative accommodation which enables us to restore our current provision from next week on. We impressed upon the EA that our young people wish to return to a renovated Carraigart Youth Centre as soon as is possible. They confirmed that they intend to reopen Carraigart having assessed the damage to the centre but were unable to give us any guarantees in this regard.
‘We went on to have a very positive discussion on the future of Youth work through the medium of irish and EA agreed to work closely and creatively with us towards further mainstreaming Irish medium youth services and adopting a long-term, resourced and strategic approach to this provision. This will ensure that Youth work through the medium of Irish has core status and that the Department fulfils its statutory duty to encourage and facilitate Irish Medium Education as enshrined in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and reflected in recommendation 18 in the review of Irish medium education 2009 which made specific commitment to affirmative support for youth work through the medium of Irish.’
‘We would like to thank the West Belfast community who has supported us in recent days including those community organisations who offered us temporary accommodation. We would also like to thank Paul Maskey MP for his proactive support.’
‘We will be going ahead with our public meeting tonight in Bunscoil Phobal Feirste at 7.30pm to inform parents about the details of the new arrangements and also to plan for the long-term future of Cumann Óige an Ghleanna to ensure its return to Carraigart Youth centre. All support is welcome.’
For further details, contact Feargal Mac Ionnrachtaigh, 07841101630, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Glór an Ghleanna are an Irish medium youth club based in the Lenadoon area of West Belfast, see the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/cumannoigeanghleanna/
They function with the support of Irish Medium Youth and Community organisation, Glór na Móna who are responsible for Irish Medium youth work across Belfast. See www.glornamona.com