Linda Ervine, sister-in-law of ex-PUP leader David Ervine, will give a talk on the many links between the Protestant/Unionist/Loyalist community and the Irish language next week.
The O’Neill Country Historical Society’s next talk is entitled ‘The Hidden History of Protestants and the Irish Language’ on Tuesday, March 12, at 8pm in the Events Venue at the rear of the Hill of O’Neill
A spokesperson for the Society said: “Unfortunately for many people today the Irish language seems irrelevant. As a people we have lost touch with the language of our homeland.
“We go about our daily lives oblivious to a language which is all around us, in our place names, Belfast- mouth of the sandbank, Finaghy – ‘the white field, Lisnasharragh – the fort of the foals; in our surnames, McCullough - son of the hound of Ulster, in many of the words we use every day and also in the syntax of our speech. Expressions such as, ‘He be’s here’, ‘She’s after doing that’, ‘I’ve the cold on me’.
“It is a language which we mistakenly associate with one community and one political viewpoint.
“Few people realise that the largest Gaelic speaking region is in Scotland where 80 per cent of speakers are from the Protestant tradition or that at one time all Presbyterian ministers had to have a knowledge of the language because many of their rural congregations couldn’t speak English.”
Parking is available for all on the Hill at the rear car park.