A NEW Irish language cafe opened this week on the Antrim Road in North Belfast.

Caifé Ceoil was officially opened on Tuesday in Áras Mhic Reachtain by Russell Drew of the Whitemountain Programme, Paul Boyle of the Arts Council NI and Gearóid Trimble of Foras na Gaeilge.

Managed by the McCracken Cultural Society, Caifé Ceoil will be a community café for Irish speakers in the area and also those dipping a toe into the language for the first time.

Caifé Ceoil is a bilingual café where you can order in English or Irish and offers the opportunity to use or learn the ‘Cúpla Focal’. It also boasts speciality coffee provided by Established Belfast.

Ferdia Carson, the McCracken Cultural Society’s Irish Language Development Officer, said: “Caifé Ceoil will be a game-changer for Irish speakers in North Belfast, a great opportunity for Irish speakers to use whatever Irish they have in a relaxed social environment.

“North Belfast has a thriving Irish language community with three Irish speaking primary schools and a significant number of learners.

"We hope to help cater for this community and also help encourage new learners to socialise and relax in an atmosphere where Irish is encouraged and a cúpla focal is welcome."

North Belfast Sinn Féin MLA Carál Ní Chuilín said the cafe would be a "fantastic addition" to a growing Irish language sector in North Belfast.