State of the Art Irish language centre opens its doors in Armagh

Date published: 06 March 2020


A NEW Irish language centre was officially opened in Armagh today following more than a £1million investment by the Department for Communities.

Opening of Aonach Mhacha
Opening of Aonach Mhacha, Armagh

Attending the official opening of Aonach Mhacha in the city’s Upper English Street, Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey said: “I am delighted to see the completion of this iconic new cultúrlann in Armagh city at a cost of over £2.3m. I am very proud to say that my Department has contributed almost £1.2m.”

The Minister, who has responsibility for the Irish language, added: “Aonach Mhacha shows how  the Irish language can provide a very positive force and influence. It is a social enterprise which will offer a wide range of facilities that include a permanent home for Irish language classes, office space for Irish language community groups and organisations and for up to six businesses.

“Above all it can provide a place in this great city, where people from across the whole community, whatever their background, can engage with the language and culture, perhaps for the first time.”

Réamonn Ó Ciaráin, Chairman of Aonach Mhacha commented: “It means a great deal to everyone involved with Irish language in Armagh city and district to have this new state of the art centre with a performance area, meeting rooms, conference space, a Celtic gift shop and cafe. We have been working towards this opening for 12 years.

“The Department for Communities is the main funder with over £1m; without that funding we would not be able to realise our vision of building a home for Irish language in the centre of the ancient city of Armagh, close to Navan Fort.”

Notes to editors: 


  • Pictured at the official opening of Aonach Mhacha, the new Irish language centre in Armagh, is Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey with Gearóid Ó Machail, Director of Aonach Mhacha and Réamonn Ó Ciaráin, Chairman of Aonach Mhacha. The Department for Communities contributed almost £1.2m towards the £2.3m project.
  • DfC leads Government’s responsibility for the Irish language.
  • The Aonach Mhacha project sees the former dilapidated fire station site in Armagh regenerated into a modern centre for Irish language and culture. Located within an area of high deprivation, the building was identified as a key site for development within the Armagh Master Plan.
  • Aonach Mhacha is a registered charity and profits generated by the trading activities of the social enterprise will be reinvested in cultural, social, arts, educational and recreational projects in the Armagh area.
  • The event took place during Seachtain na Gaeilge.
  • Media enquiries to DfC Press Office on 028 9082 3516 or email Out of hours please contact the duty press office on 028 9037 8110.
  • Follow us on Twitter @CommunitiesNI.

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