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Ulster-Scots not reliant on any council funding

Your columnists Deborah McAleese and Malachi O'Doherty have commented (17.11.15) on the expenditure of almost £150,000 by Newry, Mourne and Down Council on promoting the Irish language.

As chairman of the Ulster-Scots Language Society, which is by constitution apolitical, I wish to point out that the "equality" principle relied upon by Sinn Fein councillor Barra O Muiri obviously does not extend to equal support for the other Northern Ireland regional minority language protected under the European Charter - Ulster-Scots, spoken in Kilkeel and elsewhere within the council area.

No doubt the mistake of these residents, according to Mr O Muiri, is to fail to embrace the 'Irish' identity that he seeks to impose upon them.

The USLS, initially founded in 1992, before there was money to be made out of the minority language circus, currently does not receive public funding of any description.

May I suggest that those who are equally enthusiastic about the Irish language learn from this example and liberate themselves from the twin evils of political and financial motivation?

Anne Smyth

Chairman, USLS

Belfast Telegraph


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