£40,000 funding cut for An Chultúrlann

West Belfast’s Irish language community was dealt another blow yesterday with news that An Chultúrlann has had its funding slashed by Foras na Gaeilge.
Foras is the all-Ireland body responsible for promotion of Irish language across the whole of the island.
However the body’s credibility among local Irish activists has already plummeted with its failure to provide much-needed funding to daily Irish language paper LÁ contributing to two job losses.
An Chultúrlann received confirmation this week that its core funding has been cut by forty thousand pounds, leading to real fears of job losses at the Falls Road cultural centre.
This latest funding blow has prompted veteran gaeilgóir, Seamus Mac Seain, to say that he has “lost confidence” in Foras na Gaeilge.
“It is now all hands to the pump, after the decision of Foras to cut funding to the Cultúrlann.
“I have contributed in a voluntary capacity to the work at the Cultúrlann over the last fourteen years.
“The reality is that this could lead to job losses, and my appeal would now be for people who have a few hours to spare and who can either speak Irish or want to learn a bit more, and who would be willing to do voluntary work in the Cultúrlann, to get in touch with me.
“It is vital that the Irish language community responds to this situation vigorously, but just as we do that we should strive to bolster the service that the Cultúrlann provides to the community.
“Anyone wishing to assist in those tasks should call me on 90619178,” said Seamus.
A spokesperson for An Chultúrlann said yesterday that news of the funding cuts is “very worrying”.
“Obviously we’re talking about this affecting core costs, with all of the implications that has, and it is very worrying.”
A spokesperson for Foras na Gaeilge issued the following statement:
“With regards to our new scheme for community project Scheimeanna Pobail Gaeilge 2005/07, we have reached an interim stage.
“We hope to reach the end of the process by the end of January 2005 when we will publish a complete report on the results of this public competition.
“In the meantime it would not be right or proper for Foras na Gaeilge to comment on any one scheme while the process is still ongoing,” added the spokesperson.
Meanwhile a well-attended protest meeting to discuss the ongoing unionist campaign against LÁ heard a strong message of support from the Alliance Party Deputy Leader, Eileen Bell.
Representatives from Sinn Féin and various community organisations were also in attendance.
The meeting at An Chultúrlann was organised by Irish language umbrella organisation, Pobal and was welcomed by senior editorial staff from LÁ, including editor Ciarán Ó Pronntaigh.
“There was a great deal of anger at this meeting about the way LÁ has been treated due to this unionist campaign.
“However there was also great support from across the political spectrum, from the Alliance Party to Sinn Féin.
“That is a boost to everyone determined to make this unionist campaign against Irish cultural activities fail,” said Ciarán.

Journalist:: Jarlath Kearney

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?