Diocesan youth centre makes dream a reality

Diocesan youth centre opened in St Malachy’s parish, Belfast

A 15-year-old dream for a vibrant youth centre in Belfast’s inner city has become a reality with the opening of a purpose-built diocesan youth centre in St Malachy’s parish last week.

Bishop Noel Treanor of Down & Connor, NI Education Minister, John O’Dowd and Belfast’s Lord Mayor, Cllr Mairtin O’Muilleoir joined youth groups, cross community organisations, parents and young people at the official opening ceremony for the centre in the Markets area of the parish at Lower Stanfield Street. The state of the art building, which has been in use since June, houses a full-size sports hall, a modern kitchen, a dance studio, a social area, an IT facility, an art room and a counselling room, with a flood lit MUGA pitch outside.

Welcoming home

“We are committed to creating a welcoming home for all young people who come through the doors of our youth centre,” said Fr Michael McGinnity PP. “We also look forward to further opportunities to collaborate with other youth service providers across the city.”

Bishop Treanor said he hoped the youth centre will of service of “all young people in the parish and beyond” and a “welcoming home for young people of all races and of different religious backgrounds”.

The funding package for this £1.6m project was provided by the Department of Education, a Belfast City Council grant and St Malachy’s Parish.