Ministers from north and south tour the city’s Irish language hot spots

Minister Joe McHugh TD (left) and Minister Carál Ní Chuilín MLA are welcomed to the Cultúrlann by Ian Malcolm, Fergus O'Hare, Edel Ní Churraoin, Kady Ní Cathmhaoil and Máire Ní Fhionnachtaigh Minister Joe McHugh TD (left) and Minister Carál Ní Chuilín MLA are welcomed to the Cultúrlann by Ian Malcolm, Fergus O'Hare, Edel Ní Churraoin, Kady Ní Cathmhaoil and Máire Ní Fhionnachtaigh
By Tiarnán Ó Muilleoir

MINISTERS FROM north and south have done the rounds of Irish language organisations in Belfast.

Gaeltacht Minister Heather Humphreys TD and Joe McHugh TD, the Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs, joined DCAL Minister Carál Ní Chuilín for a series of engagements.

The Ministers visited Foras na Gaeilge, Raidió Fáilte, An Chultúrlann, the Linenhall Library and the Ulster Museum.

Speaking after the visits, Minister Ní Chuilín said: “I felt that it was important to take the opportunity to showcase to the Ministers some of Belfast’s rich offering in terms of language and the arts.

“Foras na Gaeilge, Raidió Fáilte and An Chultúrlann all hosted us today and gave us tours of their premises and the work that they do. My Department works with all three organisations to promote the Irish language and the fact that it is a language for everyone, regardless of their background.”

Minister of State McHugh, former chair of the Good Friday Agreement committee, added that he was delighted to return to Belfast.

“I was fortunate during my time as chair to have been welcomed by so many different communities within the city and I developed a unique insight into the creative and pioneering work that was taking place here. I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity of getting to witness how things have developed since then.”

Fergus O’Hare of Raidió Fáilte told Daily Belfast the Ministers’ visit was “productive”.

“We had a chat with the Ministers about the broadcast restrictions on Raidió Fáilte, which deprive Gaeilgeoirí outside Belfast of the right to hear the station,” he said. “We would like them to press the issue and see if we can bend the regulations in a common sense way. It was a productive meeting.”

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