Belfast Telegraph

Ulster-Scots needs more attention, says Foster

By Rebecca Black

DUP Leader Arlene Foster has said she wants to ensure that Ulster-Scots is no longer treated as "an afterthought".

Mrs Foster has also insisted that the Ulster-Scots culture, heritage and language need to be embedded in our education system.

Her comments come as debate over an Irish Language Act for Northern Ireland intensifies amid talks to resuscitate the power-sharing arrangements at Stormont.

Writing in the Ulster-Scots newspaper, published today, Mrs Foster set out what she terms the "rightful place for Ulster-Scots in Northern Ireland's new century".

"We must all face down those who seek to devalue Ulster-Scots: not by returning jibes in kind, but by making Ulster-Scots all that it can be," writes Mrs Foster.

"Too often Ulster-Scots has been treated as an afterthought with insufficient attention given to its needs.

"Instead, the things needed by others were foisted on to it. Ulster-Scots must be supported to move up a gear. Ulster-Scots culture, heritage and language needs to be researched and promoted, embedded in our education system, it needs a strong presence in the media, it needs to be developing the teachers to pass on its traditions to the next generation and it needs to develop hubs of activity out in the community.

"I truly believe that as small as Northern Ireland may be, there is sufficient space for our wealth of cultures to thrive side by side. I want to see Ulster-Scots contribute all it can to that wealth and take its rightful place for Ulster-Scots in Northern Ireland's new century."

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