Official opening of new €3.5 million Irish language and enterprise development centre in Baile an Fheirtéaraigh, Co Kerry
2,500 students to attend courses at the centre, worth €7 million to the local economy
The Minister of State for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan T.D. performed the official opening of the Irish language and enterprise centre – Lárionad Forbartha Gaeilge agus Gaeltachta in Baile an Fheirtéaraigh today (26 June). The new centre, which has an area of 1,400 square metres, will provide a range of Irish language based activities and courses, contains a number of enterprise units, and offers services and facilities for the local community.
Comharchumann Forbartha Chorca Dhuibhne Teo and its subsidiary companies Coláistí Chorca Dhuibhne Teo and Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne Teo are located in the Lárionad. The development also includes an Irish language family support centre and preschool services, and a public playground. The Lárionad contains a number of enterprise units owned by Údarás na Gaeltachta which are available for lease to new businesses.
The development cost of €3.5 million was co-funded by Údarás na Gaeltachta, the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht and Comharchumann Forbartha Chorca Dhuibhne.
The Minister of State, Jimmy Deenihan T.D., said he was pleased that the State has made a significant investment in the area, with the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht providing almost €2m towards the development. Minister Deenihan made reference to funding of almost €0.5m that the Department provides annually to Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne to organise a range of language planning initiatives. “Since it was founded, the Comharchumann has been organising activities through Irish,” said Minister Deenihan, “and this new centre is a significant accomplishment by the Comharchumann, the local community and Údarás na Gaeltachta, and will assist in further developing and promoting these activities.”
Tomás Mac Gearailt, the Chairperson of Comharchumann Forbartha Chorca Dhuibhne, said “The Comharchumann has a central role in the economic, social and Irish language development of the Corca Dhuibhne peninsula and is extremely proud of this development centre. The Lárionad will ensure that there is a permanent facility available in the area that will benefit the community, support the maintenance of the Irish language and provide employment for generations to come.” He said that 2,500 students will attend courses in the Lárionad this year, and that these courses will be worth €7 million to the Corca Dhuibhne economy.
Steve Ó Cúlain, Chief Executive of Údarás na Gaeltachta, said Údarás is pleased to have been in a position to provide the site, manage the development of the centre, provide co-funding and develop a number of enterprise units as a part of the project. “Modern enterprise facilities are required in the area and this development now ensures that the business development needs of Corca Dhuibhne are catered for and will help attract more employment to the area.”
He said Comharchumann Forbartha Chorca Dhuibhne had pioneered Irish language activities in the area and that the new centre would further strengthen, fortify and develop this work. “The Lárionad will act as the supportive backbone to reinforce Irish as a community language in the area and offer a language haven for native speakers and learners alike for years to come.”
Siubhán Nic Grianna, Communications and Marketing Manager, Údarás na Gaeltachta – 091 503219 / 087 2217757; firstname.lastname@example.org