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Sheehan welcomes Ministerial visit to Falls Library

24 February, 2011

Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan welcomed Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure Nelson McCausland in a visit today to the Carnegie Library on the Falls Road.

Mr Sheehan said :

"I welcomed Nelson McCausland to this part of west Belfast. I also thanked him for supporting the substantial investment in refurbishing the Carnegie Library on the Falls Road. Those works are presently underway and it is commendable that the signage on the hoarding erected by the contractor is bilingual, reflecting the rights and culture of the local community. Sinn Fein has also been supportive of the decision to refurbish the Shankill Library. The people of the Shankill Road who use that Library are also served by the Minister and by Assembly members like myself and deserve to be treated as equals."

"Today, I took the opportunity during my interaction with the Minister and senior Libraries NI officials to challenge their decision to close the Andersonstown Library. That is still an injustice which has to be put right and my colleague MLA Paul Maskey and the local community in Andersonstown have tabled excellent proposals for reinstating and enhancing library provision within that area. Those proposals need full support and to be properly resourced by the statutory authorities."

Sinn Féin Councillor Jim McVeigh, who serves the local district, has also welcomed the investment in the Falls Library :

"The Carnegie Library has a great history. It is over 100 years old. It has borne witness to the journey our community has made through conflict. It was itself occupied by the British Army at one time. It was important that MLA Pat Sheehan took the opportunity to explain to the Minister and to officials from Libraries NI that the future provision in the Falls Road Library must reflect the needs of the people of the Falls Road, including the Irish language speakers of this area."

"With a local Irish language Bunscoil nearby at Gaelscoil an Lonnain and other significant developments underway in An Ceathrú Gaeltachta, it is essential that the public money presently being invested in the Falls Road Library reflects the strong Irish cultural roots of west Belfast. Sinn Féin has asked to meet with Libraries NI officials to discuss how the refurbished Falls Library can best achieve this."


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