An Culturlann: public urged to have their say

Local politicians have expressed concerns over proposals to cut funding to Derry’s flagship An Culturlann centre by around per cent.

Sinn Fein and the SDLP have urged local people to make their views known as part of ongoing public consultation on a range of proposals.

Foras na Gaeilge is currently consulting on four proposals it has tabled, two of which involve reducing funding for the two flagship An Culturlann centres in Derry and Belfast.

The body has said that it is “seeking to cater on a broader basis for the demand from Irish language communities in places where there are centres which could function as an Irish Language centre.”

The group said it was seeking to do this “within the current funding which we have for centres.”

SDLP Foyle MLA Mark H. Durkan said the proposals were short-sighted.

Mr Durkan said: “The contribution Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin makes to the Irish language and cultural life here in the city is immense.

“While I understand and agree with Foras na Gaeilge’s desire to create new cultúrlanna, it seems illogical to me that you would scuttle your flagships whenever you are trying to get a new fleet afloat.”

Sinn Féin Councillor Kevin Campbell has said people must stand up for the two Cultúrlanna in the north.

He said: “The two Cultúrlanna are of vital importance and have been for some time.

“Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin and Cultúrlann Mhac Adaim Ó Fiaich have a central role in the development of the Irish language, not just in Derry and Belfast, but across the north.”