POBAL, the independent advocacy group for the Irish language is launching a unique report of the state of Irish language groups in the city on Tuesday 21st March at 10 am in the Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich, on the Falls Road.
Founder of the city’s Shaw’s Road Gaeltacht and key contributor to Irish language life in the city and throughout the island, Séamas Mac Seáin will launch the report officially, and there will be a chance to hear first hand about the great diversity of work being carried out by the groups themselves.
Janet Muller, POBAL’s Director said, ”Everyone knows that Irish language groups in the city have amazing energy and determination, and we want to share more information about the wide range of services we provide and who uses them, and how Irish language groups are getting by, expanding their work and contributing to the diversity and buzz of the city. Our research, which has been funded through the Capacity Building programme at Belfast City Council, outlines who does what, where and how and showcases the high quality, innovative work being carried out.’
She continued, ‘POBAL’s report also shows very clearly that without the Irish language groups themselves, few if any of the services they provide would exist, since at present the state itself does not deliver them directly. The groups offer a public service that enriches the city and indeed the whole country. The report looks at a whole range of issues affecting Irish language groups, and what their needs are in terms of funding, training, and capacity. Good relationships, like the one that Irish language groups have with Belfast City Council are important. Perhaps most important of all is that the report shows there are great opportunities to further recognise and develop the positive and unique contribution that only the Irish language can make to the life of the city.’
Seventeen groups in the city took part in the research, including Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich, Raidió Fáilte, Gaelchúrsaí, Altram, An tÁisaonad, An Cumann Chluain Árd and Aisling Ghéar in the west of the city, An Droichead in south Belfast, Cumann Chultúrtha Mhic Reachtain in the North of the city, and Turas in East Belfast.
The report can be read on this link