Northern Ireland

Belfast's historic 'quarters' explored in new Irish language show

West Belfast is home to the city's Gaeltacht Quarter. Picture by Mal McCann
West Belfast is home to the city's Gaeltacht Quarter. Picture by Mal McCann

A new Irish language radio series is exploring the unique history of Belfast's cultural 'quarters'.

The joint BBC/RTÉ production aims to take listeners on a tour of the city's four main quarters, including the Galetacht Quarter in west Belfast, along with other areas that lay claim to a distinctive cultural identity and also use the term 'quarter'.

Backed by the Irish Language Broadcast Fund and presented by Aodhán Ó Baoill and Niamh Ní Dhubhgáin, the series, titled Ocht gCeathrú (Eight Quarters), will also see the pair explore the Titanic Quarter at Belfast's historic docklands, which in recent years has seen large-scale development including the opening of the Titanic Belfast museum.

The city centre's bustling Cathedral Quarter, now a nightlife hub, will also be a focus of the series, along with the nearby Library Quarter and the University or Queen's Quarter in south Belfast.

Describing the first episode, which airs on Raidió na Gaeltachta on Wednesday afternoon at 1.30pm, a show spokesperson said Queen's professor Míchéal Ó Mainnín "describes the changes that he has seen in the city and in attitudes towards the Irish language since starting work in the university in the 1980s."

The six-part series also airs on BBC Radio Ulster on Tuesday evenings at 7.30pm.

Read more: Irish-speaking areas in north set for official status for first time