Plans revealed for new £2million Irish language centre in West Belfast

The existing centre is to be demolished

Work is to begin on a new £2million Irish language centre in West Belfast within three months.

Ionad na Fuiseoige, a family centre and creche in Twinbrook , received full planning permission for a brand new centre from before Christmas.

The existing centre is to be demolished with a new building encompassing a creche, pre-school and nursery, after school and community rooms along with offices and a theatre.

There’ll also be outdoor play areas.

Manager of the centre, Theresa Brady, told Belfast Live that the demand for the services in the area had moved beyond capacity.

She said: “It’s absolutely fabulous. We’ve outgrown the building that we’re in so we cannot cater to what the community currently wants.

“The new centre will be multi-purpose. What we’re using it for in the morning will be different to what we’re using it for in the evening.

“We’ll be able to offer more to adults, to parents, we’re going to be able to take in teenagers that we have never had.

“We’re going to take in primary school children and teaching them Irish singing and music.

“This is all stuff that we wouldn’t have had the space for before.”

Theresa said that Irish is proving hugely popular with parents of young children.

She explained: “At the minute we are looking at the intake for the new nursery school in September.

 

“We have 29 children registered to start with us in September. That’s a huge increase in what we would have had.

“When I first came here we’d have been lucky to be getting 14 or 15.”

Phase one of the building work is expected to be completed by the end of the year with phase 2 completed by October 2018.

 

Sinn Fein Councillor for the Colin area , Charlene O’Hara, said: “It’s great to see, especially in the heart of Twinbrook”There isn’t a lot of community space or gathering space for people to come together and this is just perfect.

“It has the potential to grow and develop as a community setting for people to come together.

“We can’t wait to see it open.”

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