Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Ulster Scots police advert: Could you be the next Heid Offyser furtae jyne tha PSNI?

The advert for the high profile role of PSNI Chief Constable was published yesterday, but was soon met with ridicule as it stated the job in English, Irish and Ulster Scots.
The advert for the high profile role of PSNI Chief Constable was published yesterday, but was soon met with ridicule as it stated the job in English, Irish and Ulster Scots.

Have you always dreamed of being the Heid Offyser furtae jyne tha PSNI?

Well you could be in luck if you respond to the job advertisement for the Chief Constable of the PSNI, which has been published on the policing board website tailored for Ulster Scots speakers.

The job advert for the high profile role was published yesterday but was soon met with ridicule as it stated the job in English, Irish and Ulster Scots.

Northern Ireland's top police officer position became vacant when Matt Baggott announced his retirement from the post after almost five years in the job.

Possible candidates for the £195,483 job are required to have at least two years experience in another police service at Assistant Chief Constable level and a proven track record in achieving results.

Its multilingual approach has caused a storm on social media with some people even questioning its authenticity.

The advertisement states in English: "The Northern Ireland Policing Board is seeking to appoint a chief constable to join the PSNI Executive Team."

It is followed in Irish before it says in Ulster Scots: "Tha Norlin Airlan Polis-wark Boord is leukkin tae tak oan a Heid Offyser furtae jyne tha PSNI Ontak Guidin Core."

On Twitter people began questioning the veracity of the advert. Among them was one who said: "Since I can read that, does that mean I'm bilingual?" Another asked: "how many people cite Ulster Scots as their first language?"

At the beginning of this year a PSNI officer sparked some abuse on social media after he forgot to include Ulster Scots in a multilingual New Year's greeting to the public.

The officer posted the message on the official Facebook and Twitter accounts of the PSNI in Newry and Mourne. It was also posted in Irish, Lithuanian, Polish and Russian.

However, the officer ended up apologising after uproar over the use of Irish and the lack of an Ulster-Scots greeting.

The candidate for Matt Baggott's job will obviously need to be more aware of the sensitivities. No doubt whoever lands it will be, as the Ulster Scots might say, aa med up.

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