Northern Ireland news

Board of Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich secures funds necessary to bid for its own home in Falls Road

The board of Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich has confirmed it has secured the funding necessary to bid for the building it has called home for the past 26 years. Picture by Mal McCann

THE board of Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich has confirmed that it has secured the funds necessary to purchase the building in west Belfast it has called home for more than a quarter of a century.

Last week The Irish News revealed that the Cultúrlann arts and Irish language centre, in the heart of the Falls Road, had gone on sale with an asking price of £625,000.

The owner of the building, the Springfield Charitable Association, is seeking to sell as it needs to raise funds for a new £1.5 million purpose-built hub for older people's activity at nearby Cupar Street, which it intends to open by next summer.

The Cultúrlann has now received financial backing from Ciste Infheistíochta na Gaeilge, which provides capital funding for Irish language projects in the north.

Aisling Ní Labhraí, the director of Cultúrlann Mc Adam Ó Fiach, said: "We are absolutely delighted to be finally in a position to purchase this fantastic community resource.

"The Cultúrlann is the heartbeat of Belfast’s growing Irish speaking community and has been highlighted as a best-practice model on community revival not only across Ireland but internationally for minority language communities.

"We have a fantastic working relationship with the SCA, stretching back over 25 years and we are optimistic that they will look favourably on our bid."

Ms Ní Labhraí added: "We have invested heavily in the Cultúrlann in that period, building it up from a disused, dilapidated building to an iconic Irish language arts centre with over 95,000 visitors this year alone."

Whether or not the Cultúrlann board is successful in its bid, the Gaeltacht hub will continue to function as normal, because a stipulation of any sale is that the remaining 43 years on the current lease must be seen out.

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