Minister for Education Joe McHugh is congratulated after performing the official opening of Ionad Naomh Fionnán
It was a day of celebration on Friday in Falcarragh as Donegal Minister Joe McHugh officially opened Ionad Naomh Fionnán.
Minister McHugh said the facility, which also includes a floodlit astro-turf pitch, will be the heartbeat of the town.
"The people of Falcarragh and the people of Coiste Forbartha An Fhál Charraigh/Falcarragh Development Committee have a huge amount to be proud of,” Minister McHugh said.
“The hard graft, time and effort that has gone into creating this brilliant facility, and what it stands for, is phenomenal.
“The people behind it, like Paul Anthony McFadden and Michael Duggan, deserve enormous credit. Not only are they restoring a sense of community, but their ambition and their success is an inspiration for the rest of us on how to get a job done, and done well.”
Some of the children who attended Friday's opening at Ionad Naomh Fionnán, pictured with special guests on the new astro-turf pitch
More than €500,000 of Government funding was approved through the Department of Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht to get the project completed.
Minister McHugh said: “Halla Naomh Fionnán will be the heartbeat of the town. It will grow to become the heartbeat of the language in the area.
“The Government backed the idea and the ambition of the people behind the plan. And we also backed the ambition of putting the language at the heart of it.
“It just shows that with the right people behind an idea and the right Government support practical efforts are being made by the Gaeltacht community to secure the Irish language for the next generation."
Minister McHugh added: “I’d also like to thank the officials in the Department of the Gaeltacht for the ongoing support for this project.
"Comhghairdeas mór le achan duine a bhí páirteach sa tógra speisialta seo. Ní bheadh muid ag an áit seo anocht gan an obair díograiseach atá bainte amach ag an Coiste gníomhach seo.
"Beidh an Ionad seo mar áis tábhachtach do cheantar an Fhál Carraigh agus na paróiste timpeall uithi don todhchaí, agus guím rach rath ar an choiste agus ar an phobal amach anseo."