A LOCAL Irish Medium youth and community organisation has secured £50,000 in capital funding to purchase a temporary mobile to facilitate the ever-growing demand for its services.
Glór na Móna will place the temporary structure on Council-owned land adjacent to their community hub Gaelionad Mhic Goill.
Opened in June 2016, Gaelionad Mhic Goill was built with funding in excess of £400,000 secured from the Irish Language Investment Fund, Belfast City Council and the Department for Communities. However, the building was immediately too small to cater for the city's growing Irish language community.
Glór na Móna recently unveiled ambitious proposals for new multi-purpose community, family and heritage hub at the site.
Visiting the site on Monday, Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey said her Department's funding of a new mobile will assist Glór na Móna in "their long-term capital vision of ‘Croí na Carraige'".
Glór na Móna Business Development officer Dr Órla Nig Oirc stated: "In my new role , which has been funded by the Ciste Infhéistíochta Gaeilge to build sustainability in the Irish language sector, I was tasked with exploring viable options for temporary additional accommodation at the current Gaelionad site in order to help remedy the increased demand for spatial capacity at our current facility whilst also being involved in the process of our larger capital vision of ‘Croí na Carraige’.
"I was delighted to have been successful in acquiring £30,000 funding from the DfC’s Indigenous Languages Capital Scheme and an additional 20k from the Foras na Gaeilge capital refurbishment scheme to purchase a temporary modular classroom which will serve as a multipurpose space for our youth services, Irish language classes and wide range of other community projects and programmes. This will alleviate our crisis of space in the short term and help build momentum regarding the development of our long term ‘Croí na Carraige’ capital plans."
Local Sinn Féin councillor Michael Donnelly said: "We were delighted to able to support Glór na Móna in gaining a short term lease from Belfast City Council to put their new temporary mobile accommodation on the vacant council site beside Gaelionad Mhic Goill.
"This is a positive first step in developing their long term capital Croí na Carraige vision for a multipurpose community facility for the Irish Language community on this land. We look forward to supporting and working with Glór na Móna in the future to make this vision a reality."
Glór na Móna Director Feargal Mac Ionnrachtaigh added: "Our work has been in the media recently due to our ongoing funding dispute with the Education Authority and our ongoing campaign regarding Irish Medium youth funding. The paradox of all this is that this positive new development is primarily focused on facilitating the immense growth in numbers in our youth club which is proof positive of the crucial importance and high demand for this service. We are hopeful of a common sense resolution over the coming week which will allow our young to develop and flourish in the time ahead. This new capital development no doubt adds urgency to the need for a speedy resolution to both retains and increases funding for our youth services."