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Irish being brought forward for a new day – Ruane

4 September, 2009 - by Caitríona Ruane

Sinn Féin Education Minister Caitríona Ruane attended the official opening of Cultúrlann Uí Chanaín in Derry tonight.

Cultúrlann Uí Chanaín in Great James Street, Derry, is a new purpose built Irish language arts, cultural and enterprise centre comprising of classrooms, a youth club, a theatre, café and conference facilities.

Speaking at the event, the Minister said:

“Congratulations to all involved in making this centre a reality. I know it has been a dream of so many for so long; especially to the late Seán O’Chanáin, whom this centre is named after and whose dedication and commitment to the Irish language is an inspiration to everyone here tonight.

“As Education Minister, Irish medium education is the fastest growing primary sector in the north and there is increasing demand for secondary level teachers and classes. It is the native and oldest language on the island of Ireland and it is vital that we encourage and develop the language for future generations.

“I am also looking at Irish medium youth provision and I am impressed that a pilot Irish Medium youth club, Club Óige Setanta, will run here in the centre, ensuring that young people have the opportunity to socialise in Irish.

Club Óige Setanta is a voluntary youth club, funded by the WELB, providing access to youth services through the medium of Irish.

The Minister went onto say: “In the past year, my department’s primary language programme has visited over 70 primary schools each week, teaching Irish to key stage one pupils ensuring that the youngest in our society grows and develops with a second language.”

“Organisations like Cultúrlann Uí Chanaín are a shared community resource, promoting the Irish language in an informal setting for Irish speakers, English speakers and the community as a whole.” ENDS

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