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New £2.3m Irish language centre officially opens in Armagh

Pictured at the official opening of Aonach Mhacha, the new Irish language centre in Armagh, is Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey with Gearóid Ó Machail, Director of Aonach Mhacha and Réamonn Ó Ciaráin, Chairman of Aonach Mhacha
Pictured is Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey with Gearóid Ó Machail, Director of Aonach Mhacha (left) and Réamonn Ó Ciaráin, Chairman of Aonach Mhacha

A new Irish language centre was officially opened in Armagh today following more than a £1million investment by the Department for Communities.

Attending the official opening of Aonach Mhacha in the city’s Upper English Street, Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey said: “I am delighted to see the completion of this iconic new cultúrlann in Armagh city at a cost of over £2.3m. I am very proud to say that my Department has contributed almost £1.2m.”

The Minister, who has responsibility for the Irish language, added: “Aonach Mhacha shows how the Irish language can provide a very positive force and influence. It is a social enterprise which will offer a wide range of facilities that include a permanent home for Irish language classes, office space for Irish language community groups and organisations and for up to six businesses.

“Above all it can provide a place in this great city, where people from across the whole community, whatever their background, can engage with the language and culture, perhaps for the first time.”

Réamonn Ó Ciaráin, Chairman of Aonach Mhacha commented: “It means a great deal to everyone involved with Irish language in Armagh city and district to have this new state of the art centre with a performance area, meeting rooms, conference space, a Celtic gift shop and cafe. We have been working towards this opening for 12 years.

“The Department for Communities is the main funder with over £1m; without that funding we would not be able to realise our vision of building a home for Irish language in the centre of the ancient city of Armagh, close to Navan Fort.”

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