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Death of Noelle Ryan – blow to west Belfast community: Adams

30 March, 2014 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President and Louth TD Gerry Adams has expressed his sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Noelle Ryan who died on Saturday.

Noelle was a founding member of the Springhill Community House and the Education floor in Conway Mill.

Gerry Adams said:

“I have known Noelle for over 40 years. Originally from Dublin she came to west Belfast in the early 1970s via six years in a convent in Liverpool. Along with Fr Des Wilson, Noelle successfully turned Belfast Springhill Community House, in Ballymurphy, – a small four-bedroom terraced house – into the largest academic outreach centre in west Belfast.

Under Noelle and Fr Des’s guidance Springhill House provided a meeting place for people to discuss and study whatever was of interest to them.  Its objective was to promote social inclusion and self-help, and to assist the most disadvantaged and prepare them for further education and training.

In 1982 Springhill Community House extended its programmes into Conway Mill with the opening of the Education floor.

In the decades since thousands of people from west Belfast have passed through the doors of Springhill and Conway Mill on the road to additional educational qualifications, training and employment.

In recent years Noelle has been passionately involved in promoting and teaching complementary alternative therapies. Up to her death she remained an active member of the Springhill Community.

Noelle will be hugely missed by all who knew and loved her. Over four decades she made a significant contribution to the community of west Belfast.

I want to extend on my own behalf and that of Sinn Féin our deep appreciation of Noelle’s work, our regret at her death, and our deepest sympathy and condolences to her brothers Gerry and Ciaran and their families and friends. Noelle’s funeral will take place on Tuesday at 2pm in Corpus Christi Church. CRÍOCH/END

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