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All profits generated by the trading activities of Aonach Mhacha are reinvested in the Aonach Mhacha cultúrlann and in cultural, social, arts, educational, training and employment initiatives for the Armagh area.
Aonach Mhacha is located at the site of the old fire station in the historic heart of Armagh city and opened in March 2020 as an Irish language and cultural enterprise centre.
Aonach Mhacha has regenerated a derelict part of the city centre and will further develop the cultural corridor between the Shambles and the ‘Cathedral Quarter’ or ‘Old Town’, making the area safer and more attractive to residents, visitors and tourists while also boosting the local economy by generating custom for local businesses such as restaurants and licensed venues which will be contracted to provide services for the centre during festivals, concerts, conferences and other activities.
Educational, creative arts, recreational and community development projects will also be attracted to the location throughout the year.
The objects of Aonach Mhacha are as follows:
- Develop an awareness of and encourage appreciation of Irish culture through the promotion of the Irish language, music, drama, poetry, literature, visual arts, sports and social history;
- Raise awareness, educate and encourage participation in the study and celebration of local heritage, history, economy, customs and traditions of Armagh and the surrounding areas;
- Encourage participation in traditional arts and Irish cultural activities through the provision of workshops, classes, entertainment and other participatory activities;
- Provide facilities and support to cultural enterprises, schools, community groups and minority language organisations;
- Promote training and employment opportunities; promote and develop cultural tourism; maintain and manage a cultural centre for activities promoted by the Charity in furtherance of its Objects.
Aonach Mhacha has regenerated a derelict part of the city centre and will further develop the cultural corridor between the Shambles and the ‘Cathedral Quarter’ or ‘Old Town’, making the area safer and more attractive to residents, visitors and tourists while also boosting the local economy.
The name for the new cultural hub ‘Aonach Mhacha’ translates as ‘Assembly of Macha’ and is taken from the great Gaelic tribal assemblies or ‘Aonachs’ which had their origins in the pre-history of Ireland.
These were truly magnificent gatherings at which the business of the whole district, province or country – legal, social, commercial and political – was conducted. The Aonach of Ulster was held in Armagh, could last up to three weeks and took place as many as three times a year.