Concern over removal of funding for language classes

Alliance South Belfast Councillor Emmet McDonough-Brown has expressed concern after an Irish language bursary scheme had its funding withdrawn by the Communities Minister.

The Liofa Gaeltacht Bursary Scheme sent around 100 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to Irish language summer classes in the Donegal Gaeltacht. The bursary is worth around £50,000 a year and operates on a cross-community basis.

“Alliance supports the Irish language, which we recently demonstrated by launching our language policy for Belfast,” said Councillor McDonough-Brown.

“Therefore it is extremely disappointing the decision has been taken by the Communities Minister to end this funding, particularly as it benefited those young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who wouldn’t otherwise get a chance to go to the Gaeltacht.

“We will be raising it with the Minister immediately to get clarity around his reasons and seek to discover if this vital programme can be saved.”

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