Northern Ireland

Irish language organisation named as Belfast lord mayor's final chosen charity

Belfast Lord Mayor Ryan Murphy met with representatives from Conradh na Gaeilge at City Hall on Monday
Belfast Lord Mayor Ryan Murphy met with representatives from Conradh na Gaeilge at City Hall on Monday Belfast Lord Mayor Ryan Murphy met with representatives from Conradh na Gaeilge at City Hall on Monday

An Irish language organisation has been chosen by Belfast lord mayor Ryan Murphy as his final chosen charity during his term in office.

The first citizen said Conradh na Gaeilge had been a "driving force in promoting and protecting the rich history of the Irish language right across our city".

Founded in 1893 to promote the use of the Irish language, Conradh na Gaeilge has more than 200 branches worldwide.

The first branch in Belfast was founded in August 1895 by Dr John St Clair Boyd at 32 Upper Beersbridge Road.

Mr Murphy previously announced his support for three other local groups during his year as lord mayor - the volunteer-based Community Rescue Service, mental health support organisation TAMHI and Kids Together, who provide services and support for children and young people with complex needs.

“2023 marks the 130th anniversary of Conradh na Gaeilge and I’m delighted to announce them as one of the charities for my term," he said.

“During this time, the organisation has been a driving force in promoting and protecting the rich history of the Irish language right across our city, a role which it continues to play today.

Read more:

  • Belfast City Hall to be lit up in green to mark 130 years of Conradh na Gaeilge
  • Formed in Dublin 130 years ago today, who are The Gaelic League (Conradh na Gaeilge)?
  • Irish language community festival launched in west Belfast

“As a council, we have committed to ensuring that everyone feels welcome in our city as it expands and grows in diversity.

"I hope that, by working closely with the committed team and volunteers at Conradh na Gaeilge, I can play my part in telling the story of the Irish language and encourage others to explore for themselves its wider connection to our city’s heritage and development.”

Mr Murphy met with representatives from the charity at Belfast City Hall on Monday and heard more about the services they currently offer in Belfast, including providing classes and workshops, working with schools, and organising Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia, the international Irish language festival.

Conchúr Ó Muadaigh, advocacy manager with Conradh na Gaeilge, said: "Belfast City Council have taken some huge strides towards language rights and equality in recent years and we look forward to welcoming a new Irish language policy and new, exciting events for Seachtain na Gaeilge le Energia in the coming months.

“We wish to thank Belfast City Council and the Lord Mayor for endorsing that vision and our work, for valuing us alongside many other vital community organisations, many of whom help make Belfast the diverse and welcoming place it is today."