FUNDING FOR IRISH MEDIUM YOUTH SERVICES RESTORED
EA Chief executive Gavin Boyd commits to engaging with sector to mainstream Irish medium youth work
Following a week of vocal campaigning, representatives from Irish language youth and community organisation, Glór na Móna, led by the young people affected, met yesterday with Education Authority Chief Executive, Gavin Boyd in Belfast. The EA committed to immediately restore the funding for Irish medium youth services in Belfast by providing core regional funding for this work.
Following a further meeting with senior youth service officials this morning, Glór na Móna have now received official written confirmation of this funding meaning that the four youth clubs can now reopen immediately.
Speaking after the meeting, 17-year-old Katy Rose Mead, stated;
‘We’re really pleased that the EA has listened to our views and the views of the hundreds of people who have rallied in support of our youth services over the course of the last week. Myself and my friend Drithle began today’s meeting by speaking about the importance of our clubs and explaining how angry we were that this funding was removed from our community overnight. The EA Chief executive, Gavin Boyd agreed to come and meet with us and discuss the future of Irish medium youth clubs’.
Glór na Móna Director, Feargal Mac Ionnrachtaigh added;
‘We welcome the fact that the EA reinstated the funding which will allow us to go back to delivering frontline youth services. We are also encouraged by Mr Boyd and his officials’ commitment to continue to meaningfully engage with us to ensure that a sustained and resourced Irish medium education youth service is available to meet the growing demand.
‘We reminded Mr Boyd of the statutory duty placed on his department to encourage and facilitate Irish medium education and youth work and he agreed that no young person should be disadvantaged because they chose to avail of Irish medium youth services. We look forward to working closely with the EA in the coming weeks and months to secure a more strategic, mainstreamed and long-term approach to Irish Medium youth provision.’