Mol na Gaeltachta Glas le Fás – Gaeltacht Hub is Green with Growth

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Colma McKee Stiúrthóir GaelChúrsaí agus Piarais MacAllistair Forbairt Feirste

Colma McKee Stiúrthóir GaelChúrsaí agus Piarais MacAllistair Forbairt Feirste

Tá sé in am do chéim a dó den Spórtlann

Time to deliver Phase Two of Spórtlann

Gaeilge


Tá láthair úr ar Bhóthar na bhFál – Tá spás ann, tá soilse ann, tá radharcanna ann. Ach is é an difir is mó na go dtig le haon duine agus achan duine bheith páirteach ann – athraíonn an script agus na haisteoirí gach bomaite agus gach lá.


Tá Spórtlann na hÉireann, an mol £18m den Cheathrú Ghaeltacchta ag teacht chuig deireadh an céad chéim forbartha  agus le tionscadail eile réidh le dul is fuarast a fheiceáil go bhfuil Gaeltacht Feirste Glas le Fás.  Tá a chroílár féin ag gach mol. I gcás Gaeltacht Feirste tá na spócaí in áit le tamall fada agus anois faoi dheireadh tá Spórtlann na hÉireann ag bláthú. Tá abhcóideacht teaghlaigh fríd an Ghaeilge ag croílár an tionscadail seo. Ag úsáid oideachais fríd forbairt phobail chun brí úr a thabhairt do chur chun cinn sláinte agus braistint logánta, cultúrtha agus féiniúlachta.


Ag labhairt dó tar éis cuairt a dhéanamh ar an Spórtlann agus ar Choláiste Feirste, mar chuids de Thoscaireacht ó Chomhchoiste Títhe an Oireachtais, Dé Céadaoin an 22ú Feabhra, dúirt Fiesire Iartha Bhéal Feirste, Paul Maskey:


“B’é seo buaicphointe an chuairt dhá lá a rinne an Toiscaireacht ar Bhéal Feirste. Chur roinnt Teachtaí Dála agus Seanadóirí in iúl domh go raibh an tádh dearg orainn a leithéid de áit bríomhar Gaelach a bheith sa Dháilcheantair seo.


“Tá borramh chultúrtha san áít seo nach bhfuil a shárú le fáil agus bhí an mhéid sin soiléir agus muid ar chuairt chuig an scoil agus chuig an mórshuímh. Tá idir dhálta, múinteoirí agus foireann araon iontacht bródúil as a bhfuil bainte amach agus chuir siad sin ar ár súile dúinn.


“Tá mé féin iontach bródúil as achan rud atá bainte amach leis an forbairt ar an scoil agus ar an mórshuímh. Seo áiseanna den chéadghrád agus is fuarast a fheiceáil ca háit ar chaitheamh an £18m de infheistíocht.


“Níl aon dabht orm ach go n-amharcfaidh baill uilig an chomhchoiste siar ar an chuairt seo le lúcháir agus le éad chomh maith mar bheadh aon duine sásta a leithéid d’fhorbairt a fheiceáil ina cheantar féin.


“Ba mhaith liom mo bhuíochas a chur in iúl do Jake Mac Siacais agus Micheal Mac Giolla Gunna as an am a ghlac siad le cuir ina luí orainn stair na scoile ach níos tábhachtaigh arís na pleananna atá acu do am atá le teacht.”


Ag gabháíl buíochas le Paul Maskey as an mhéid a bhí le rá aige dúirt Cathaoirleach an Choláiste, Seán Mistéil: “Tá céim a haon den fhorbairt críochnaithe. Tá sé  i ndiadh croílár chultúrtha agus tráchtála a thabhairt chun cinn i gceantair stáiriúl na bhFál, mar a bhí air an cheantair seo ón chianaimsir. Bhain sé obair crua agus blianta asainn teacht an fhaid seo.


“Is é Spórtlann na hÉireann an gníomh claochlaithe i dtaca leis an forbairt féideartha i nGaeltacht Feirste a thabhairt chun cinn.  le tacaíocht láidir ó pháirtnéirí diongbháilte agus le abhchóideacht dáiríre i ngort iomaíocha tá neart spás againn anois do na busanna lán tuarasóirí chun Gaeltacht Feirste. Tá áiseanna spóirt den scoth againn chomh maith.  Anois tá soláthar agus forbairtí eile sa Ghaeltacht ábalta seasamh amach ar bhealach i bhfad níos tarraingtí mar gheall ar seo, i bhfírinne is mó i bhfad é an tiomlán na cnuas-shuim a gcuid bpáirteanna  Ach ní bheidh an fíorphointe claochlaithe bainte amach an an lárionad cuairteoireachta seo go dtí go mbíonn céim a dó den mhórfhorbairt curtha i gcrích. Is é an Spórtlann an eocharfhorbairt i dtaca leis na comhbhall eile sa Ghaeltacht scaoileadh chun breis chumachta fríd na comhbhaill eile, Cultúrlann, forbairt Teach Ard na bhFeá, Áras na bhFál, an Nasc, Raidió Fáilte chomh maith le soláthraithe seirbhíse eile, a sníomh le chéile.


Chuir Pilib Ó Ruanaidh, Cathaoirleach Forbairt Feirste, béim ar na gnéithe teaghlaigh, fóillíochta, spóirt agus oideachais atá mar fhócas ag an Spórtlann, dúirt sé: “Ag úsáid an cur chuige ceannródaíocha de abhchóideacht teaghlaigh fríd an Ghaeilge is rún linn an suímh ina iomláine a oscailt d’úsáid inmharthanta pobail agus chuairteoirí. Creidimid fosta go rachaidh an chomhúsáid agus an réimse ghníomhaíocht a bheas ar fáil go mór chun socair ar smaointóireacht i dtaca leis an luach a dtig bheith ann má dhéantar suíomheanna scoile a dhlúthú leis an tagarfhráma níos leithne athghiniúna poiblí agus príobháideach.


“I measc na forbairtí eile atá beartaithe agus a bhfuil comitmint áirithe airgead déanta cheana féin ag Comhairle Bhéal Feirste dóibh, tá an Spás Dín lárionad cartlainne agus léirmhínitheach Ghaeilge agus spórt Ghaelach, caifé, siopa earraí spóirt agus an áit glachtha feinphiceanna is réchúisí sa Chathair ( freagra na Gaeltachta ar an Berliner Fernsehturm).”


An rud atá uainn anois, a dúirt stiúrthóir Forbairt Feirste, Jake Mac Siacais ná an choimitmint ó Chomhairle Bhéal Feirste a thabhairt i gcrích.


“Tá an forbairt seo ag cur bealaigh forbartha in áit de ghlúin úr atá réidh le tabhairt faoi dúshláin úra ag leibhéal áitiúl, ar bhealach a ligfidh do dhaoine a ndréimirí féin a thógáil agus cinneadh a dhéanadh faoi cé chomh fada agus cé chomh ard agus a ba mhaith leo dreapadh, áit ina ndéanfaidh gach cinneadh ón phobal féin agus áit ina nach mbeidh daoine chomh gafa leis na coinníollacha atá dá gcoinneáil siar.


“Tá tairiscint againn ar féidir le lucht tuarasóireachta a dhíol: is féidir le tuarasóirí anois am cheart a chaitheamh sa Cheathrú Ghaeltachta, ag tuirling ó na busanna, ag siúil thart ar an Spórtlann agus úsáid a bhaint as na háiseanna, sula n-imíonn siad amach chuig áiseanna cosúil leis an Chultúrlann lena caifé agus siopa leabhar, Beár na Carraige lena chlúideanna, fuinneogaí daite agus a mhaisiú oidhreachta inmheánach. Fríd an Spórtlann is féidir linn ár scéal féin a insint ach ar dtús chaithfidh muid an dara chéim a chur i gcrích. Ní féidir linn seasamh ar ár bhonnaí is mithid seo a thabhairt chun críche anois láithreach.” a dúirt Jake.


“Tá idir Naíscoileanna, bunscoileanna, iarbhunscoileanna, Gaelacadamh, tionscadail sóisialta agus cruthaitheach, caifé, siopa leabhair, Raidió, Lucht Déanta scannáin, féiltí, lucht déantús ceoil agus go leor eile sa Cheathrú Ghaeltachta.


“Mar chuid de mhórphlean Spórtlann na hÉireann tá tríantán  tallaimh a choinníodh siar le haistriú go Forbairt Feirste. Tá an Tríantán Ard na bhFeá , (a bhfuil comitmint aistrithe déanta le fada ag Comhairle Bhéal Feirste linn), aitheanta againn mar an suíomh ina mbeidh an céad tosaíocht eile sa Spórtlann le forbairt a bhainfidh tairbhe as an forbairt turasóireachta i dtaca le Gaeilge agus an Cultúr Gaelach de. Tá muid tiomanta fosta chun tithíocht a fhorbairt do theaglaigh Gaelacha. Is fíor theist litmeas é forbairt Triantán Ard na bhFeá ar cé acu a bhfuil nó nach bhfuil tacaíocht comhtháiteach ag Comhairle Bhéal Feirste do Phobal na Gaeilge.”


I dtaca le Cathaoirleach Coláiste Feirste, Seán Mistéil, beidh cur  i gcrích na Spórtlanne ina clochmhíle iontach sa thuras a thosaigh Ceannródaithe Pobal Seoighe amach ar. Dúirt sé:


“Sa scannán, ‘I Am Not Your Negro’, a thosaíonn le dúnmharadh Medgar Evers (1963), Malcolm X (1965) agus Martin Luther King Jr (1968), mhothaigh mé macalla ár scéal féin. Mheabhraigh mé ar an comhartha Gaeilge a chuireadh taobh amuigh de theach s’againn i 1969, bhí an comhartha sin agus an scoil a bhí taobh thiar dínn ‘mídhleathach. Inniu tá i bhfad níos mó scoileanna Gaeilge agus sráidainmneach Gaeilge againn ach tá an brionglóid de chearta, cothromos, aitheantas cultúrtha  agus spásanna ina dtig linn timpeallachtaí gaelacha go foil le baint amach againn. Fríd an Spórtlann tá sé de rún againn tabhairt faoi chuid den easpa seo agus tastáíl cé chomh maith agus a dhéanann polasaí agus infheistíocht poiblí freastail ar riachtanais Pobal na Gaeilge.


“Éiríonn la cathracha a thugann deis dá saoránaigh scileanna a dhlúthú agus a mhaitseáil i dtimpeallacht ina bhfuil ceannasaíocht pobal lárnaithe i réim é cruthaitheach ach breithiúnach agus neamhspleach chomh maith. Tá scála an deis athghiniúna sa Spórtlann sonrach agus nua-aoiseach agus tá sé brach le hoidhreacht. Tá muid ag dúil go mór le cur agus cuiteamh a oscailt le daoine eile mar gheall air. I bhfírinne ní hiad an barúntacht agus an chaighdeán amháin a chinntíonn sármhaitheas ach feidhmitheacht an chomhchaidrimh idirphobail” a dúirt Seán.


Le haghaidh tuilleadh eolais, déan teagmháil le: jake@forbairtfeirste.com  02890438597


English


The Falls Road has a new arena – it has space, it has lights, it has scenery. But the difference is that anyone and everyone can participate – and the script and the actors change every moment, every day.


Spórtlann na hÉireann, the Gaeltacht Quarter £18m hub development is just completing its first phase of and with other projects lined up and ready to go it is easy to see that Belfast’s Gaeltacht is Glas le Fás/Green with Growth. Every hub has a centre. For the Gaeltacht Quarter, the spokes have been in place for some time, but finally, Spórtlann na hÉireann, is coming to realisation. Family advocacy through the Irish Language is at the heart of this project. Using education through community development to power the advancement of health, sense of place, culture and identity.


Speaking after a visit to the site by the Good Friday Agreement Joint Committee of the Houses of the Oireachtas, last Wednesday 22nd February, local MP Paul Maskey said:


“This was a highlight of the delegation’s two day visit to Belfast.   It was pointed out to me by a number of the TDs, Senators and MPs that we are very lucky to have such a vibrant Irish language school in my constituency.


 “The cultural buzz in the school is second to none and that was clearly on display as we walked around the overall site. The pupils and staff are very proud of the school and they made that known to the committee.


 “I am very proud too of what the school has achieved with the new investment in the sport facilities and the new extension to the school. This is a modern first class facility and it’s clear to see where the £18m investment has gone.


 “I have no doubt that all members of the committee will look back on their visit to the school with great fondness and a bit of jealously as they would want a similar school in their own constituency.


 “I want to thank Jake Mac Siacais and Micheal Mac Giolla Gunna for taking the time to enlighten the committee on the school’s past history and more importantly what the future plans are.”


Thanking Paul Maskey, Seán Mistéil, chairperson of the Board of Governors said: “Phase one of the plans for creating this cultural and commercial heart within the historical district of the Falls Road – the road of the hedges, as it was known from the time of early settlement – is now complete.  It has taken many years and much hard work to realise.


 “Spórtlann na hÉireann is the game-changing response to realizing the development potential of the Gaeltacht Quarter. With the backing of solid partners and eager lobbying in a competitive arena, we now have purpose built parking spaces for the coachloads of visitors to the Belfast Gaeltacht. We also have world class sporting facilities. Other developments in the Gaeltacht Quarter now stack up more convincingly because of this; the whole is indeed greater than the sum of the parts. However, the true tipping point for the development of a visitor-generating centre piece will occur only when phase two of Spórtlann is complete.  The completion of Spórtlann is the key to uniting and energizing the other components of the Gaeltacht Quarter, locking together the Culturlann, the development of Beechmount House, the Áras na bhFál, Broadway Development, An Nasc, as well as other local service providers”.


Pilib Ó Ruanaidh, Forbairt Feirste chairperson, stressed the family, recreational, sport and and educational focus for An Spórtlann, he said: “Using the pioneering approach, of family advocacy through the Irish Language we aim to unlock the entire site for long-term and viable community and visitor activity. We believe that the proposed combination of activity will also generate important and exciting thinking about the value of integrating schools into the wider public and private regeneration framework.


“The next phase of Spórtlann – which Belfast City Council has already committed partly to fund – involves an Spás Dín (the attic room), an interpretative centre and Living Irish Language Archive, including what will be the coolest selfie station in the City, (our answer to Berliner Fernsehturm), a juice bar, a venue for demonstration of and participation in different GAA sports, and a gift shop featuring GAA apparel and materials”.


What we now need is to turn the Belfast City Council commitment into reality said Jake Mac Siacais, Director, Forbairt Feirste.


“This development is putting in place progression routes for a new generation of achievers at the local level, where people build their own ladders and decide how high or far they want to climb, where decisions come from within and where people are less captive to circumstances.


“We have a proposition that tour operators can sell: it is now feasible for visitors to spend meaningful time in the Gaeltacht Quarter, disembarking, walking around and experiencing Spórtlann, and from there venturing out to amenities such an Cultúrlann, with its bookstore and quality food, and The Rock Bar with its snugs, stain glass and heritage-class interiors.  Through an Spórtlann we can now complete and share our story, but first we have to bring the work to its full fruition. We cannot afford to stand and wait, now is the time to finish the project,” said Jake.


“The Irish Language movement in Belfast encompasses nursery, primary and post-primary schools, an Irish Language FE Academy, social and creative enterprises, a bookshop, café, radio and TV programming, festivals, musical and literary productivity and more.


“As part of the overall Spórtlann na hÉireann masterplan a triangle of land in the Beechmount Site has been retained for transfer to Forbairt Feirste. This land, Tríantán Ard na bhFeá, which the council has a long-standing commitment to transfer to Forbairt, has been identified as a suitable location for the next phase in the regeneration through exploiting the tourism potential of Irish language and culture. We are also committed to seeing the development of housing for Irish speaking families.  What happens in relation to this part of the development is a real litmus test of whether the Irish Language community is supported coherently in the City”.


For Coláiste Feirste Chair Seán Mistéil the completion of Spórtlann will mark a huge milestone in the journey begun by Belfast’s Irish pioneers at Shaws Road: he said:


“As I sat watching Raoul Peck’s documentary film, I Am Not Your Negro, which begins with three lives cut short in 1960s America – the assassination of Medgar Evers (d. 1963), Malcolm X (d. 1965) and Martin Luther King Jr (d. 1968) – I thought about how in 1969 the Irish signpost on our house that said ‘Bóthar Seoighe’ (Shaw’s Road) was unlawful as was the newly opened Irish Language school behind us. Today we have many more street names in Irish and many more Irish Language schools but the dream of equal rights, cultural recognition, and the opportunity of accessing language environments where Irish speakers can choose to live side by side is not realised. Through Spórtlann we aim to address some of that and in so doing we will also test how far public policy and investment reflects the needs of the Irish Language Community in 21st century Belfast.  


“Cities succeed when they provide an opportunity for people to match and merge skills in environments where leadership is community oriented and creative but critical and independent also. The scale of the regeneration opportunity that the next phase of Spórtlann brings is both distinctly modern and rich in heritage. It is truly significant. We are eager to open up to an exchange of ideas and input from other bodies. After all, it is not only authenticity and quality that certify excellence, but also the functionality of relationships between communities.” said Seán.


For further details, contact Jake MacSiacais on jake@forbairtfeirste.com  02890438597


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