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Irish language youth club closures: Sinn Fein welcomes commitment to review funding applications

Four Irish language youth clubs in Belfast are facing closure after applications to the Education Authority (EA) for public funds were not approved.

West Belfast MP Paul Maskey said this would "effectively close the doors of some youth clubs, including youth provision through the medium of Irish".

The clubs thought to be facing closure are:

  • Cumann Óige Uachtar Chluanaí in Upper Springfield, west Belfast
     
  • Club Óige na bhFál on the Falls Road, west Belfast
     
  • Cumann Óige Ghlór an Ghleanna in Andersonstown, west Belfast
     
  • Club Óige Mhachaire Bótháin in Oldpark, north Belfast

An EA spokeswoman said more than 60 groups were recently assessed and some were not approved.

Review

However following a meeting with Sinn Fein on Tuesday it is thought than some applications will be reviewed. Sinn Fein MLA Pat Sheehan said he welcomed the commitment to review applications.

Mr Sheehan said: "I led a Sinn Fein delegation to meet the Education Authority today to challenge last week's decision to cut funding from a number of youth service providers in west Belfast.

"We raised concerns about the proposed cuts and the manner in which the youth organisations were notified.

"At the meeting we secured a commitment from the Education Authority that the funding applications from a number of youth organisations in west Belfast will be reviewed.

"This is a welcome development and Sinn Fein will continue to engage with the Education Authority to check the status of these reviews."

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