A BELFAST Irish language housing association say they hope to intensify discussions in the new year for an affordable housing scheme in the city's Gaeltacht Quarter.

Lonnaitheoirí Loch Lao is made up of Irish speakers from a range of backgrounds who will work with Forbairt Feirste to make all the necessary arrangements to realise the construction of an all-Irish speaking housing project.

Their goal is to create a unique Irish speaking community in the Gaeltacht Quarter. It will be the second Gaeltacht in Belfast, following in the footsteps of the pioneering Shaws Road Gaeltacht.

This week, the group are taking inspiration from a similar scheme in Waterford after a campaign group there secured a comprehensive affordable housing scheme in three of the Southern Gaeltachts. 

The Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta approved a housing initiative, supported by a capital allocation of €250,000 towards development and research costs to develop a model of affordable housing for Irish speakers on Údarás lands in Gaeltacht areas.

The three chosen sites in An Rinn, Co. Waterford, An Cheathrú Rua, Co. Galway and Gaoth Dobhair, Co. Donegal are within existing settlements and close to public services.

Housing will be developed on the three sites for Irish speakers.

Jake Mac Siacais, from Lonnaitheoirí Loch Lao, said: "We warmly congratulate our compatriots in Waterford whose campaigning has secured a comprehensive affordable housing scheme in three of the Southern Gaeltachts.

"We ourselves will shortly be intensifying contact and discussions with local politicians to press the case for a similar scheme in Belfast's Gaeltacht Quarter."