17 December 1998 Edition

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Rosy future for Irish Language community

With the news that the West Belfast Irish Language organisation Glor na nGael has been awarded almost £100,000 by the Lottery Charities Board and the launch of the new Irish Language umbrella group Pobal in the Waterfront Hall last week the future of Irish language development in Belfast looks bright.

Speaking at the launch of Pobal, Cathal O'Goan, head of Teilifis na Gaelige, welcomed the project and the growth of the language in Belfast.

Interestingly while addressing the view that Sinn Fein has made the Irish language ``a political issue'', O'Goan likened the promotion of the language to a respect for human rights and the respect for the hertiage of our neighbours.

That the Lotteries Board have granted £100,000 to Glor na nGael, a group that not so long ago was on a British Government black list for funds, is a welcome development

Glor chairperson Mairin Nic A'bheatha said, ``the money will be used for a capital building programme to renovate and rejuvenate Glor's premises on the Falls Road.''

Mairin paid tribute to ``the hard work and persistence of all those involved in maintaining Glor na nGael as a viable organisatinal entity promoting Irish language and culture in good times and bad down through the years''.

Meanwhile, Irish artist Robert Ballagh was in Belfast last Saturday at a ceremony to present awards to the winners of an art competition organised by Gaeloluint for children attending Irish language schools throughout the North.

The ceremony, in An Culturlann MacAdam O'Fiaich on Belfast's Falls Road, was attended by thirteen winners of the arts competition which had 700 participants.

All the pictures that the children drew were shown in West Belfast during this year's West Belfast Festival.

The Irish language drama group Aisling Ghearr is putting on a Christmas show ``for all the family'' in the Culturlann this week.

The show, Nollaig an Da La, which will run from Wednesday 16 to Saturday 19 December promises ``fun for all the kids and in particular the older kids'', says Aisling's Gearoid O'Caireallain.

The show runs from 7.30pm every night with an afternoon showing on Saturday afternoon. Admission is £5/£3 and £1 per child.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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