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Ulster-Scots: A Brief History of Dialogue

Ulster-Scots : une brève histoire de dialogue
Wesley Hutchinson

Abstracts

Since the period of the Gaelic Revival at the end of the 19th century, a lot of work has been done to establish the inclusive, cross-community credentials of the Irish language and Gaelic culture. Ulster-Scots language and culture, on the other hand, are often still perceived as “belonging” to the Protestant, unionist community. The article challenges this simplistic depiction by looking at the many cross-overs and exchanges between Ulster-Scots and the Catholic, nationalist community over the past hundred and fifty years. Focusing on two moments of heightened political tension –the Home Rule period and the period from the beginning of the Troubles to today-, the article shows how literary material deserves particular attention as it contains evidence of a much more subtle, open, less schematic representation of the Ulster Scot than is to be found in other sources.

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Introduction

1One of the accusations that has been addressed against the Ulster-Scots movement over the years has been that it concerns only the most radical elements within the Protestant, unionist community and that it is unwelcoming or actively hostile towards Catholics and nationalists. This position reflects the tendency in Northern Ireland to see language and culture as part of a binary system of community identity, the reverse side of which is seeing Irish as a language that “belongs” exclusively to the nationalist, Catholic community. These political and sectarian associations have a negative impact on each language community and represent an obstacle to the full development potential of each.

2Irish has sought to address accusations that it has a sectarian or partisan subtext. This was true at the time of the revival of interest in Irish in the late 19th century, and it has again been the case in the context of the more recent language revival in Northern Ireland. Considerable academic and administrative effort has been put into challenging allegations of religious and political bias by charting and celebrating the contribution of people from the unionist and Protestant community who have defended the interests of the language at various stages in its history.

3In contrast, Ulster-Scots has been less proactive in challenging hostile representations of itself on the issue of its cross-community credentials. It seems all the more important therefore to address this issue by looking at some of the evidence which demonstrates the existence of a strong strand within the culture that has remained consistently open to dialogue and exchange.

The creation of a binary system

4In Ireland, language and culture have been intimately linked in to issues of political identity. It was at the Home Rule period that the binary structuring of language and cultural traditions that we are familiar with today was put in place.

  • 1 Declan Kiberd & P.J. Mathews, Handbook of the Irish Revival: An Anthology of Irish Cultural and Pol (...)
  • 2 The Irish “Ard Fheis” is used in preference to “National Convention” by Irish political parties and (...)
  • 3 See: Aodán Mac Póilin, “Plus ça change: The Irish Language and Politics”, in A. Mac Póilin (ed), Th (...)

5Nationalist demands for constitutional change in the form of Home Rule were closely associated with expressions of cultural separatism. The final years of the 19th century saw the construction of the Celtic Irishman through a multi-faceted reinvention of Ireland’s rich Gaelic heritage in language, literature, mythology, the visual arts and sport.1 An essential vector of that process was Conradh na Gaeilge (the Gaelic League) set up in 1893 to attempt to reverse the collapse of Irish as a living language. Despite the efforts of key figures within the League to keep politics and culture apart, the 1915 Ard Fheis2 saw a take-over by the nationalist faction within the organisation. Tying Irish in to a specific political agenda led to the alienation of whatever support existed for Irish within the pro-Union community.3 From that point on, Irish and the (Gaelic) culture associated with it were effectively incorporated into a broader cultural project which combined with Catholicism and the ideal of an Irish Republic to form the core of Irish identity.

6Unionists who did not want to be absorbed by this form of Gaelic culture had little choice but to develop their own cultural agenda.

7Irish unionists contented themselves with demonstrating their attachment to a catch-all Britishness grounded in broad frames such as Parliament, monarchy, Protestantism and the Empire. However, these seemingly perennial coordinates were clearly no longer as solid as they had thought. Key elements of the establishment, with the British Liberal Party in the vanguard, had been won over to Home Rule. For Irish unionists, this involved a worrying shift in the very foundations of their British identity.

  • 4 For a detailed examination of how Ulster-Scots culture was used in unionist propaganda at the Home (...)
  • 5 For a fuller development of these issues, see Wesley Hutchinson, Tracing the Ulster-Scots Imaginati (...)

8Unlike the rest of Ireland, the demographics of the North East allowed unionists there to adopt a different strategy. Rather than taking their stand solely on a broad British identity, they opted to push a regional cultural alternative, the Ulster Scot, who quickly became the hallmark of a specifically Ulster resistance.4 In so doing, they were simply putting a new label on a rich and varied culture that had been an integral part of the region since the Plantation period.5

9By affirming their Ulster-Scottishness, the Ulster unionists were reminding people that all of Ireland did not see itself as Gaelic and that the supposed unity of cultural, economic and political purpose allegedly symbolised by the “islandness” of Ireland did not in fact exist. From a nationalist perspective, this was and remains the culture’s original sin. If the Gael was the embodiment of Irish separatism from a British cultural project, the Ulster Scot was the embodiment of a specifically Ulster separatism determined to resist what was perceived as an increasingly hegemonic Irish culture. Beyond this challenge to the separatist territorial project within Ireland, the hyphenated nature of Ulster-Scottishness, with one foot in Ireland and the other in mainland Britain, meant that the identity was in itself an expression of the perceived unity of an inclusive British cultural and political project within the archipelagic frame of the British Isles at the centre of a world-wide Empire. Thus, more than being simply the antithesis of the Gael, Ulster-Scots identity was read as a form of hyper-Britishness, symbolically encapsulating the primary east-west link at the heart of the Union.

  • 6 This image of the Ulster Scot as a fearless pioneer characterised by an uncompromising Presbyterian (...)

10Given the growing instability of British identity, those engaged in the construction of the Ulster Scot had a vested interested in making him – and the Ulster Scot was unequivocally male – rock solid. The particular characteristics of this newly-articulated Ulster-Scottishness – resilience, independence, communal solidarity, military acumen – reflected the need to respond to the existential crisis Ulster unionism faced. It is this threat that explains the stridency of Ulster-Scots political discourse at this period. Custom-built to be inflexible, the Ulster Scot soon becomes a fixed coordinate in an increasingly volatile, fluctuating identity space.6

  • 7 The expression “weaver poets” refers to a number of largely working-class poets writing in Ulster-S (...)

11However, if we explore the Ulster-Scots literary archive – much of which remains far too confidential – we find an entire body of material that is in sharp contrast to the militant, uncompromising stereotypes of the Ulster Scot that is prevalent in the popular historiography and the political propaganda. Rather than underlining differences, the literature consistently recorded, indeed celebrated the reality of cultural cross-overs in the everyday life of the rural communities across Ulster. The liberal mind-set evident in the work of the “weaver poets”7 was a constant subtext of the Ulster-Scots tradition that continued into the 20th century. What is important is that this openness is evident even at times when the culture felt itself to be under direct and sustained threat as at the Home Rule period. This readiness to record interaction and dialogue between the traditions reflects the intimacies that existed on the ground in the country areas of the North East that form the backdrop to the writing. What is equally interesting is that, in similar vein, many poets and prose writers from a nationalist background who, by force of circumstance, find themselves in contact with Ulster-Scots language and culture showed themselves equally open and infinitely less hostile to Ulster-Scots than those authors who approach the tradition from the outside, from a purely ideological perspective.

Cultural cross-overs at the Home Rule period

  • 8 Patrick Duffy, “Change and renewal in issues of place, identity and the local”, in Jim Hourihane (e (...)

12The geographer Patrick Duffy says that, up until the 1960s much of rural Ireland, north and south, was a “pedestrian world.”8 Given the religious and ethnic mosaic that characterises much of the north of Ireland, this lack of mobility inevitably produced a high level of cross-fertilisation in terms of cultural influences.

  • 9 George Francis Savage-Armstrong, Ballads of Down (London, Longmans, Green and Co., 1901).
  • 10 Louis J. Walsh, “The spaikin’ machine,” Our own Wee Town: Ulster Stories and Sketches (Dublin, The (...)

13This comes out very strongly in the use of language, in that words migrate quite naturally from one community to another. Thus, while someone like the Protestant unionist poet, George Francis Savage-Armstrong, will use words of Gaelic origin like greesugh (from gríosach, ashes and cinders) or fraughan (from crann fraocháin, bilberry) which form a natural part of the Scots his characters speak,9 someone like the Co. Londonderry man, Louis Walsh, a member of Sinn Féin interned by the unionist authorities in 1921, will not hesitate to use Scots in his fiction. Thus, his characters say that one of their cows is foundered (i.e. that it had an inflammation in its hoof), or that a wheen o’ (i.e. several) neighbours were kind enough to sit up with someone when she had the bad brash (i.e. a chill, or short bout of illness).10 In both cases, no-one in the rural communities of the period would have had any difficulty understanding what was going on.

  • 11 “Kailie n. v.” from the Gaelic “Ceilidh”, is: “a social evening, esp. among neighbours […] gen. inc (...)
  • 12 Micí Mac Gabhann, Rotha Mór an tSaoil (Dublin, Foilseacháin Náisiúnta Teo. 1959). The book was tran (...)
  • 13 See the section, “Seanchaí albanach”, in Mac Gabhann, Rotha, pp. 55-58.

14Beyond issues of language, there were shared cultural reflexes like the kailey/céilidh11 and the story-teller/seanchaí, both of which, although commonly associated with the Irish tradition, had their equivalents in the rural Scots communities in the north of Ireland from County Down to Donegal. We come across references to the Scots storytelling tradition in the most unlikely places. For example, in an autobiographical text, Rotha Mór an tSaoil, published (posthumously) in 1959, the Irish language author Micí Mac Gabhann gives us a fascinating account of his experience as a child working in an Ulster-Scots community in the Laggan district of Donegal at the end of the 19th century.12 His mother had sent him there to “lift the Scotch,” meaning “to learn English”, so that he would have a better chance of getting work when he grew up. In his account, he explains his astonishment at discovering that these Scots communities in the Laggan had what he calls their seanchaí albanach (Scots story-teller), exactly like the Irish-speaking communities in the Donegal Gaeltacht further over to the west.13 He tells how impressed he is by the narrative skills of an elderly itinerant farm worker, Billy Craig, who had as much lore and as many stories as his Irish language equivalents. He even goes as far as to contest received wisdom in his own community according to which the Scots had no oral story-telling tradition. As he says, he could tell them from first-hand experience that they were mistaken. Mac Gabhann’s account is of the greatest interest as it shows how personal exposure to the Ulster-Scots community challenges ingrained perceptions and re-frames prejudice about the value of their culture.

15We find a similar readiness to explore and celebrate exchange between the traditions in the work of Ulster-Scots authors of the period.

  • 14 Stevenson was an elder of Fisherwick Presbyterian Church, Belfast, becoming Clerk of Kirk Session i (...)

16John Stevenson, who was a partner in one of Belfast’s largest print mills, McCaw, Stevenson & Orr, and the author of several books that focus on the Ulster-Scots community in counties Antrim and Down, published a series of poems in Ulster-Scots in his short-lived literary magazine, The Pen, under the pseudonym of Pat M’Carty. Given the binary nature of the stereotypes that were being put in place at this period, it is of considerable interest that this member of Belfast’s Presbyterian establishment14 should choose to re-invent himself in the persona of a Roman Catholic “ploughman poet” writing in Ulster-Scots. Stevenson is clearly determined to challenge stereotypes and to encourage his readers to re-think the binary cultural and identity frames that are hardening into sectarian borders. Thus, Stevenson’s invented biography tells readers how Pat falls in love with a Scots Presbyterian girl whom he meets when he takes his potatoes over to Scotland for sale at the market in Dumfries. In a revised version of the story published some years later in book form, Stevenson describes how, when one of her parents’ friends objects to the proposed marriage on the grounds that Pat is Irish – “nasty ill-speakin’ folk […] goin’ aboot shootin’ people” - Pat tries to mollify her by explaining that:

  • 15 Pat M’Carty, Farmer of Antrim: His Rhymes with a Setting (London, Edward Arnold, 1905), p. 25.

most of the glen folk came from Scotland ages ago; that the Plantation and persecutions brought others, and that Antrim folk were nearer to her by blood than many on her side of the water.15

17In the end, her parents, their hearts “softened” by “the constancy of the young couple,” ignore their friend’s prejudices and agree to the marriage.

18The message Stevenson is sending out is that tolerance and mutual respect between the traditions generate positive change in both. Thus,

  • 16 Pat M’Carty, “Poet and philosopher”, The Pen, 5 December 1896, p. 11.

Pat still finds his way to the little chapel on the hills; his wife attends the Presbyterian service. But, on occasions, she has accompanied her husband, and Pat has frequently sat with his wife in the little country meeting-house. […] [I]f the wife has liberalized her husband's views […], he has warmed and widened her Calvinistic theology.16

19Stevenson’s work depicting everyday situations that show Catholics and Protestants in the Glens of Antrim living and working together, attending school, going to market, and even, like Pat himself, dealing successfully with the issues arising from a mixed marriage, is clearly conceived as an alternative to the increasingly deep divisions around him.

  • 17 The poetry was initially published in book form in 1903 and the Feis na nGleann was launched in 190 (...)
  • 18 See Eamon Phoenix et al (ed.), Feis na nGleann: A Century of Gaelic Culture in the Antrim Glens (n. (...)

20It should be remembered that this alternative image of the Ulster Scot from the Glens of Antrim is being projected at exactly the same time as the Gaelic League is putting in place the Feis na nGleann,17 a festival launched by the antiquarian Joseph Bigger designed to celebrate the Gaelic language and culture in the Glens of Antrim where Irish had been spoken up until the immediate post-famine period.18 The Feis was supported by high-profile figures from the Protestant community like Roger Casement or Róis Ní Ogáin (Rose Young). Indeed, much of the narrative surrounding the initiative has to do with how people from a Protestant and unionist background contributed actively to the success of this initiative.

21It is therefore of interest to see how Stevenson’s work presents a radically different alternative to this image of an inclusive Gaelic culture capable of embracing all political and religious differences. Stevenson’s Catholic Glensman sees himself first and foremost as an Ulster Scot. When he writes, he writes, not in Irish, but in Scots. When he looks out from his cottage, he sees Scotland. When he tries to sell his potatoes, he goes to market in Scotland. When he marries, he chooses a Scots Presbyterian. Thus, this alternative Glensman looks not only beyond the Gaelic frame but also beyond the island frame. Despite his religious and ethnic origins, Pat sees his links with Scotland as equally, if not more important than his links with Ireland.

  • 19 Although the scope of this article does not allow us to develop this further, authors like Archibal (...)

22Stevenson’s willingness to play with these elements of Ulster-Scots identity points to the readiness of leading figures in the Ulster-Scots literary movement of the period to see their culture interact with other traditions.19 It is as if the greater intimacy of the medium they are working in gives them the freedom to stand back from the strident posturing of the political battle raging all around and imagine new forms of dialogue. Once again, as with the young Mac Gabhann, personal experience blurs the clear-cut certainties of propaganda.

The late 20th century

23The imaginative interaction between Ulster Scots and people from a nationalist and/or Catholic perspective did not end at the Home Rule period. Evidence of this dialogue continues up to this day. Once again, it is very much a two-way process.

  • 20 See Diarmait Mac Giolla Chriost, Jailtacht: The Irish Language, Symbolic Power and Political Violen (...)
  • 21 Gerry Adams, The Politics of Irish Freedom, (Dingle, Brandon Book Publishers Limited, 1986), p. 147 (...)

24In the late 1960s, when the Troubles erupted in Northern Ireland, the unionist community quickly found itself faced with a war on several fronts. As had been the case at the Home Rule period, the political and military assault on the constitutional status of Northern Ireland was soon underscored by a structured attack on what republicans called “cultural colonialism.”20 Gerry Adams, the former Sinn Féin leader, quoting Máirtín Ó Cadhain, made it clear (1986) that Irish culture was once again going to be central to political victory: “The Irish language is the reconquest of Ireland, and the reconquest of Ireland is the Irish language.”21

  • 22 The Ulster Society for the Promotion of Ulster-British Heritage and Culture was set up in June 1985 (...)

25Under these circumstances, unionism was once again forced to make strategic cultural choices. After an initial commitment to exploring “Ulster Britishness,”22 many of those unionists who understood the need for organised cultural resistance took the same route as a century before and opted for the Ulster-Scots frame seen as offering the best alternative to an increasingly articulate and confident Gaelic culture.

26The Ulster-Scots tradition was still very much embedded in the community at grass-roots level across a range of fields like language, music and dance. What was needed was a strategic vision to re-generate a coherent narrative. That is precisely what happened from the 1990s on when groups of cultural activists started to push an Ulster-Scots agenda. The “movement” that emerged at this period came about as a result of action on a number of fronts.

  • 23 The three poets featured in the series are James Orr, Hugh Porter and Samuel Thomson.
  • 24 James Fenton, The Hamely Tongue (Belfast, Ulster-Scots Academic Press, 1995).

27One of the earliest signs was the creation of the Ulster-Scots Language Society in 1992. This coincided with initiatives in the area of publication such as the re-edition of the work of three of the best weaver poets in the Folk Poets of Ulster series (1992)23 and the appearance three years later of the first dictionary of Ulster-Scots in County Antrim.24

28Perhaps the most important element in the strategy came on the back of a form of cultural stock-taking which consisted in identifying the structures that were already engaged in furthering different aspects of Ulster-Scots culture. This was the case for organisations like the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, and the Presbyterian Historical Society which came together under the auspices of The Ulster-Scots Heritage Council, set up in 1995 as an umbrella body to encourage higher levels of networking between existing structures with a broad interest in Ulster-Scots related themes.25

29All of this activity contributed to heightening the profile of Ulster-Scots culture across Northern Ireland and in the border counties where Ulster-Scots communities were still present.

30Once again, although the involvement of cultural activists was central to the increased visibility of Ulster-Scots culture, things would not have moved forward so rapidly without the intervention of individual politicians at key points in the emerging peace process.

31Thus, after an initial brief mention in the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement (1998), Ulster-Scots was given its first institutional anchorage the following year when David Trimble (UUP) pushed for the creation of a North/South Language Body during the tense negotiations over implementation bodies. It was this initiative that saw the creation of the Ulster-Scots Agency (Tha Boord o Ulstèr-Scotch) in December 1999 as part of the North-South Language Body alongside the Irish language body, Foras na Gaeilge. This was followed in 2001 by the UK Government’s decision to give Ulster-Scots Part II status when it ratified the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, and by a Government commitment at Saint Andrews in 2006 to “enhance and develop” Ulster Scots language, heritage and culture, a decision taken with the active support of Ian Paisley, leader of the DUP delegation.

  • 26 However, in “Unionist Discourse and Identities in 21st-century Northern Ireland and Scotland (1998- (...)

32At every key juncture, Ulster-Scots had the support of one or other of the two main unionist parties. It was this targeted support that generated the necessary political pressure to make Ulster-Scots into an issue requiring an institutional response, which, in turn, ensured the embedding of Ulster-Scots as a cultural “brand” across the north of Ireland.26

  • 27 For a wide-ranging discussion on the politicisation of Ulster-Scots, see M. Nic Craith, “Politicise (...)
  • 28 As Mac Póilin, put it (“Plus ça change,” pp. 46-47): “cries to ‘depoliticise’ [Irish] are usually d (...)
  • 29 See Maurna Crozier (ed.), Cultural Traditions in Northern Ireland: Varieties of Irishness (Belfast, (...)

33However, the role of high-profile unionist politicians like David Trimble and Ian Paisley on behalf of Ulster-Scots laid the culture open to accusations that it was a political construction designed primarily to further the interests of the unionist community.27 This of course mirrored perceptions in sections of the unionist community with regard to Irish, which was receiving increasingly vocal support from Sinn Féin.28 This polarisation was immediately perceived as having the potential to become an Ersatz for armed conflict. As early as 1989, the Cultural Traditions Group identified the “language question” as one of the main battlegrounds in the coming culture war, one that, like the issue of parades, had to be addressed head-on.29

34However, as we have seen, the ways in which the two language cultures have dealt with accusations that they each have a sectarian or partisan subtext have been strikingly different.

  • 30 The following are only a few examples of this production: Padraig O Snodaigh, Hidden Ulster: Protes (...)

35Great effort has been put into underlining the inclusive nature of the Irish language and, by extension, Gaelic culture in general. One of the strategies adopted was to encourage research and publication on the historical involvement of Protestants and unionists in the defence of the language and –more importantly- to ensure that that information filtered into the community at large. Since the 1970s, there has been a constant flow of this material in English and Irish.30

36At an institutional level, there was the creation of Iontaobhas Ultach, one of whose main functions was to catalogue and promote the history of Protestant involvement in support of the language. Ultach produced a considerable body of valuable material on these themes, stimulating debate within the Protestant community, thus challenging republican attempts to dictate the language agenda. Although Ultach was closed down in 2014, it had laid the foundations for the work that an organisation like Turas is doing in East Belfast today.31

  • 32 According to the 2011/12 Continuous Household Survey, 8% of Catholics had a knowledge of Ulster-Sco (...)

37In contrast, there has been relatively little work done on how Ulster-Scots interacts with the Catholic and nationalist community. This is despite the fact that much Scots is used in Catholic and nationalist areas in Northern Ireland,32 a point that was frequently underlined by someone like Liam Logan, the former SDLP councillor and well-known presenter of the BBCNI programme on Ulster-Scots, A Kist o Words. When compared with Irish, however, the fact remains that there has been no evidence of anything like the same level of interest in analysing –and above all promoting- the cross-community pedigree or potential of Ulster-Scots.

38And yet, Ulster-Scots has both that pedigree and that potential.

Cultural cross-overs since the Troubles

  • 33 Ian Adamson, The Cruthin: The Ancient Kindred (Belfast, Nosmada Press, 1974), new edition 2014.
  • 34 Ullans, his preferred term for Ulster-Scots, is a portemanteau word from Ulster and Lallans, the te (...)
  • 35 Ian Adamson, The Identity of Ulster: The Land, the Language and the People (Bangor, Pretani Press, (...)
  • 36 An essential part of Adamson’s lexical strategy is to refer systematically to “Ulster Gaelic” as op (...)

39One of the first people in the Troubles period to make the cross-community frame central to his vision of Ulster-Scots was the unionist politician and cultural activist, Ian Adamson, most famous for his controversial book, The Cruthin, published in 1974.33 Adamson saw Ulster-Scots culture and what he called “Ullans”34 as essential components in the cultural landscape of the province. If given their rightful place, they could, he argued, interact positively with Ulster Gaelic as part of a shared Ulster identity. In The Identity of Ulster (1982), he says quite clearly that: “[n]either language belongs solely to one or other religious or political ‘tradition.’”35 In order to highlight his vision of a distinct, inclusive Ulster identity, he repeatedly insists on the strong parallelisms that exist between Ulster Gaelic and Ulster-Scots claiming that “[b]oth are […] under threat by the combined influences of British and Irish nationalisms.” Similarly, just as he stresses the linguistic proximities between Scots Gaelic and Ulster Gaelic – and the latter’s distance from the southern dialects of Irish36 -, so he insists on the influence of the Scots language on the English used in Ulster.

40Given all they have in common, Adamson called for closer co-operation between what he saw as the “indigenous” cultures within Ulster, claiming that such co-operation could form the basis for a new Ulster-centred identity founded on mutual respect, part of a broader “common identity” that tied the region in not only to Ireland but also to the rest of the British Isles.

  • 37 Tom Paulin, A New Look at the Language Question (Derry, Field Day Theatre Company Limited, 1983), p (...)
  • 38 See Michael Hall, The Cruthin Controversy (Belfast, Island Publications, 1994).
  • 39 The Folk Poets of Ulster series was published by Adamson’s imprint, Pretani Press. See note 21.
  • 40 James Orr, “Song”, Poems on Various Subjects, Belfast, 1804, p. 159. Paulin wrote the Foreword to t (...)

41The poet, Tom Paulin, who could not be accused of unionist sympathies, was clearly impressed by some of Adamson’s arguments on language which he saw as a “worthwhile attempt to offer a historical vision which goes beyond traditional barriers.”37 Indeed, when he wrote on “the language question” in 1983 – some ten years, therefore, before the Ulster-Scots Language Society was founded (1992) - he spent no less than three pages of a fourteen-page pamphlet talking about Adamson’s position. Given the furore generated around Adamson’s work on the Cruthin,38 it is striking that his analysis is anything but hostile. His interest in Adamson clearly springs from what he calls “the inclusive and egalitarian nature of his vision.” Paulin sees this openness to dialogue as forming part of the heritage of the political choices of many of the “weaver poets”39 who, like the United Irishman James Orr, were quite happy to welcome “[t]he good of every creed and clime,” be they Calvinian, Cath’lick, Manx, or Moor...40 If Paulin accepts the sincerity of Adamson’s project for Ulster-Scots language and culture it is surely because he sees him as belonging to this liberal, sometimes radical strand that has long formed a subtext to the Ulster-Scots tradition.

42This strand within the Ulster-Scots tradition has continued into the more recent period and across a variety of genres.

  • 41 Charlie Reynolds “Thae Tuk Mae Ain Tung”, Ullans, N° 8, Hairst 2001, p. 63.
  • 42 “The yelling of the old teachers”.

43In an autobiographical prose account entitled, “Thae Tuk Mae Ain Tung,”41 the poet, Charlie Reynolds, recalls the circumstances when as a child he first realised that the Ulster-Scots vernacular he spoke could be an object of ridicule. Significantly, this realisation comes about in the context of the school when his family moves from the countryside into the town of Coleraine. The school is identified as the site of a concerted attack on his use of language, one that involves his peers, the other children, and the school hierarchy, with the teachers being represented as particularly hostile: “tha goulin’ o tha aul’ teachers.42 However, he is most surprised by the fact that even his own family (“mae ain yins”) sided with the school because they saw their language as a social liability and an obstacle to personal advancement.

  • 43 Areas in which Irish is the dominant language.
  • 44 For example, Mac Gabhann, Rotha, pp. 27-28.
  • 45 For examples of recent writing in Ulster-Scots, see: Yarns, Celebrating Contemporary Writing in Uls (...)

44Much of what Reynolds says recalls what people from the Gaeltacht43 used to say about how the education system -with the active encouragement of the children’s parents- sought to impose English on them as children.44 What is interesting is that in his text Reynolds specifically draws a parallel between his own experience of discrimination and that of Irish speakers in the past. His readiness to envisage that the two minority languages have a shared past of exposure to mistreatment by the dominant language contrasts sharply with the usual mud-slinging that is common in this type of exchange and is a sign of the poet’s readiness for greater dialogue with the other tradition. Fundamentally, it reflects the confidence he has in the value of his own vernacular, “oor ain mither tunge.” It is this type of confidence that the Ulster-Scots community needs to encourage, not only in the new generation of writers,45 but across the culture as a whole.

  • 46 The playwright and producer, Jonathan Burgess, works with Blue Eagle Productions, based in Derry/Lo (...)

45Jonathan Burgess’ short theatre-in-education comedy, The Honest Sod, aimed at Key stage 2/3 pupils (8 to 11 year-olds) is another example.46 The play is set in 1610 at the time of the Ulster Plantation. There are two characters, Liam, an Irishman who has been taken on to build a wall, and a Scots woman, Annie, whose job is to carry water to the men engaged in the work. Whereas Liam uses Irish, she uses Scots, much of the interest of the play hinging on their attempts to understand each other. The idea is that the children should see the exchange between the two people –an obvious metaphor for the exchange between the two languages and the two cultures- not as adversarial, but rather as a game.

  • 47 In the first year of production, 2012-13, the play toured 88 schools and was seen by over 3000 pupi (...)
  • 48 The two largest types of school in Northern Ireland are “controlled” schools, primarily Protestant, (...)

46The play is of particular interest because of the audience which it has managed to reach. Whereas it has been performed in schools across the Province of Ulster, including the border counties,47 in Northern Ireland, performances have been equally divided between the largely Protestant controlled schools and the Catholic maintained sector48. Indeed, pupils from these different categories of school are often brought together for these performances. Thus, not only does the play navigate between the two languages and cultures; it has also managed to find its way into schools across the sectarian divide and on both sides of the border. Performances are often followed by workshops focused on the issues raised. These sessions give the organisers the opportunity to challenge preconceived ideas and encourage discussion on different aspects of the cultures involved. The play is therefore custom-built to tick all the boxes concerning “raising awareness” and “mutual respect for diversity.”

47In a cultural environment where in most cases “never the twain shall meet,” the fact that Scots and Irish feature alongside each other in a primary school play is rare enough for comment at ministerial level. The then Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Caral Ní Chuilín (Sinn Féin), in a Statement on the North/South Language Body in September 2013, cited the play as an example of the way the Ulster-Scots Agency and Foras na Gaeilge were collaborating together. The context in which these remarks are made makes it clear how seriously such “work […] across language and cultural heritage” 49is taken at the very highest level and the implications that can be drawn with regard to the day-to-day operation of the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement. Whatever the political points scoring, Ulster-Scots has to take opportunities like this to show that it is willing – and able - to take part in an active dialogue with the “other tradition”.

48There is increasing evidence that this is happening.

49Alan Millar, poet and journalist, is without question one of the most interesting contemporary authors writing in Ulster-Scots today. Originally from the Ulster-Scots minority in east Donegal, he is coming at the issue of cultural exchange from a radically different perspective from many others within the tradition.

  • 50 Alan Millar, “Beware those branding unionists a bunch of backwards bigots”, News Letter, 30 June 20 (...)

50Millar is keenly aware of the negative stereotypes that are repeatedly projected about Ulster-Scots culture and is clearly prepared to challenge them. In an outspoken article in the News Letter he queries representations in certain nationalist circles across Ireland that their “fellow Protestant unionist citizens” are “bigots” and “supremacists” unable to treat Catholics as “equals”. He argues that such attacks form part of a broader campaign – he uses the word “grooming” – designed to discredit cultural traditions that refuse to conform to established (nationalist) orthodoxies. In a reasoning that recalls O Cadhain’s notion of “reconquest”, Millar argues that one dominant tradition has simply been allowed to replace another and as a result some sectors of Irish society are still stuck in the divisive, binary paradigms of the past. He suggests that what is needed is a new “shared script” on equality and an acceptance across Irish society of what he calls “multi-faceted, legitimate expressions of collective otherness.”50

  • 51 See Alan Millar, “Whaur is Campbell?”, Echas frae the big Swilly Swally (Ballymoney, Ullans Speaker (...)
  • 52 Ibid., p. 64.

51The resolution he seeks clearly lies in reconnecting with the Ulster of the Enlightenment. Just as the language he uses in his poetry seeks to “reclaim” the language used in the “reservoir” of Ulster-Scots poetry, so he reconnects with the radical politics that many of the Ulster-Scots writers – poets and journalists - promoted.51 Poems such as “Belfast, the Athens o the North” is a celebration of Enlightenment Belfast when the city, inspired by the non-sectarian ideals of its predominantly Presbyterian United Irishmen, went from defying the landlord class and advocating radical social reform to organising an armed revolution for the sake of the “rights of man”. He uses this model to interrogate contemporary issues like Brexit and the war in Ukraine, showing that “bonds twixt times are ticht as warp,”52 and that an outward-looking Ulster-Scots literary tradition can once again produce incisive political and social comment free from any hint of a partisan sectarian agenda.

52Millar’s highly complex interplay between Irishness and Ulster-Scottishness and his trenchant take on both, are evidence of a confidence and a readiness for dialogue that suggest that the tradition is –at last- coming back into focus.

Conclusion

53In his remarkable essay, “Burns’ Art Speech,”53 Seamus Heaney, another figure from a Catholic, nationalist background who has shown interest in Ulster-Scots, explains how the “language of Burns” found its way into what he calls “the kitchen life […] of [his] affections” and how it did so “by reason of its truth to the life of the language [he] spoke while growing up in Mid-Ulster.”54 It is what he calls the “domestic familiarity55 of the words that makes them as much a part of his “word-hoard” as the language of someone like the Ulster Gaelic poet, Cathal Buí Mac Giolla Ghunna. Referring to “[t]hat tongue the Ulster Scots brought wi’ them,” he goes on, in “Birl for Burns,” to play with the possibilities Ulster-Scots opens up for his own poetry, remembering with affection how his neighbours: “toved and bummed and blowed [] And snedded thrissles […]56

54It is clear from material like this that the “excavation” of the literary archive has the potential to show how naturally open Ulster-Scots culture can be and how that can generate what Heaney calls “creative intercourse.57 Such evidence often stands in sharp contrast with the dominant stenotype of Ulster-Scottishness projected in material hostile to the culture. Despite the reluctance of many in the mainstream publishing sector and academia to promote anything that might valorise Ulster-Scots, there are signs that such representations are changing.58 The emergence of new writers’ groups, the opportunities afforded by institutional support from bodies such as the Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund and the Ulster-Scots Community Network, and the visibilities opened up by the internet are generating a new ecology that is sure to encourage further growth. Rather than being content to preach to the converted, Ulster-Scots culture seems once again prepared to reach out and challenge the binary vision of community belonging. The more this happens, the faster it can move away from the “cultural cringe” that has stunted much of its potential and open up possibilities not only for exchange but also for its own creative growth.

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Bibliography

Adams, Gerry, The Politics of Irish Freedom, Dingle (Brandon Book Publishers Limited, 1986).

Adamson, Ian, The Cruthin: The Ancient Kindred (Belfast, Nosmada Press, 1974), new edition.

Adamson, Ian, The Identity of Ulster: The Land, the Language and the People (Bangor, Pretani Press, 1982).

Crozier, Maurna (ed.), Cultural Traditions in Northern Ireland: Varieties of Irishness (Belfast, Institute of Irish Studies, 1989).

DCAL, Strategy to Enhance and Develop Ulster-Scots Language, Heritage and Culture 2015-2035 (Belfast, DCAL, n.d. [2015]).

Dictionaries of the Scots Language: <https://dsl.ac.uk/>

Duffy, Patrick, “Change and renewal in issues of place, identity and the local”, in Jim Hourihane (ed.), Engaging Spaces: People, Place and Space from an Irish Perspective (Dublin, The Lilliput Press, 2003).

Fenton, James, The Hamely Tongue (Belfast, Ulster-Scots Academic Press, 1995).

Graham, Angela “Developments in Ulster-Scots Writing.” <https://irishlitsoc.org/developments-in-ulster-scots-writing/>

Hall, Michael, The Cruthin Controversy, (Belfast, Island Publications, 1994).

Heaney, Seamus, “Burns’ Art Speech” [1997], Finders Keepers, Selected Prose 1971-2001 (London, Faber and Faber, 2001), pp. 347-363.

Hewitt, John (ed.), Rhyming Weavers & Other Poets of Antrim and Down (Belfast, The Blackstaff Press, 2004).

Hutchinson, Wesley, Tracing the Ulster-Scots Imagination (Belfast, Ulster University, 2017).

Kiberd, Declan & Mathews, P.J., Handbook of the Irish Revival: An Anthology of Irish Cultural and Political Writings 1891–1922 (Dublin, Abbey Theatre Press, 2015).

M’Carty, Pat, “Poet and philosopher”, The Pen, 5 December 1896, p. 11.

M’Carty, Pat, Farmer of Antrim: His Rhymes with a Setting (London, Edward Arnold, 1905).

Mac Gabhann, Micí, Rotha Mór an tSaoil (Dublin, Foilseacháin Náisiúnta Teo., 1959). The book was translated into English by Valentin Iremonger as The Hard Road to Klondike (London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1962).

Mac Giolla Chriost, Diarmait, Jailtacht: The Irish Language, Symbolic Power and Political Violence in Northern Ireland, 1972-2008 (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2012).

Mac Póilin, Aodán, “Plus ça change: The Irish Language and Politics”, in A. Mac Póilin (ed.), The Irish Language in Northern Ireland (Belfast, Ultach, 1997), pp. 31-48.

Mac Séafraidh, Aodán, et al, Turas Soir: Journey East Story Book/Scéalta as Oirthear Bhéal Feirste (Belfast, Turas, n.d. [2022]).

Making Northern Ireland: <makingnorthernireland.co.uk>

Malcolm, Ian, Towards Inclusion: Protestants and the Irish Language (Belfast, Blackstaff, 2009).

Millar, Alan, “Beware those branding unionists a bunch of backwards bigots”, News Letter, 30 June 2021.

Millar, Alan, Echas frae the big Swilly Swally (Ballymoney, Ullans Speakers Association, 2023).

Milliken, Matthew & Roulston, Stephen, How Education Needs to Change: A Vision for a Single System, Transforming Education, Briefing Paper 17 (Ulster University, 2022): <https://pure.ulster.ac.uk/ws/portalfiles/portal/117051627/TEUU_Report_17_Vision.pdf>

New Ulster, Issue 1, Summer 1986.

Nic Craith, M., “Politicised linguistic consciousness: the case of Ulster-Scots”, Nations and Nationalism, Vol. 7, 2001, pp. 21-37.

Northern Ireland Assembly: <http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/>

Ó Glaisne, Risteárd, De Bhunadh Protastúnach, Rian Chonradh na Gaeilge (Baile Átha Cliath, Carbad, 2000).

O Snodaigh, Padraig, Hidden Ulster: Protestants and the Irish Language (Belfast, Lagan Press, 1973), 2nd ed. 1995.

Orr, James, Poems on Various Subjects (Belfast, 1804).

Paulin, Tom, A New Look at the Language Question (Derry, Field Day Theatre Company Limited, 1983).

Phoenix, Eamon et al (ed.), Feis na nGleann: A Century of Gaelic Culture in the Antrim Glens (n.p., Stair Uladh, 2005).

Rousvoal, Nolwenn, “Unionist Discourse and Identities in 21st-century Northern Ireland and Scotland (1998-2020)”, (PhD dissertation, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, 2021),

Savage-Armstrong, George, Francis, Ballads of Down (London, Longmans, Green and Co., 1901).

Scottish Poetry Library: <https://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/>

The Dawn of the Ulster-Scots: <https://discoverulsterscots.com/history-culture/hamilton-montgomery>

Turas: <https://www.ebm.org.uk/turas/>

Walsh, Louis J., Our own Wee Town: Ulster Stories and Sketches (Dublin, The Talbot Press Ltd., 1928).

Yarns, Celebrating Contemporary Writing in Ulster-Scots and Scots (Belfast, Ulster-Scots Agency, n.d. [2022 and 2023]).

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Notes

1 Declan Kiberd & P.J. Mathews, Handbook of the Irish Revival: An Anthology of Irish Cultural and Political Writings 1891–1922 (Dublin, Abbey Theatre Press, 2015).

2 The Irish “Ard Fheis” is used in preference to “National Convention” by Irish political parties and cultural bodies such as Conradh na Gaeilge.

3 See: Aodán Mac Póilin, “Plus ça change: The Irish Language and Politics”, in A. Mac Póilin (ed), The Irish Language in Northern Ireland (Belfast, Ultach, 1997), pp. 31-48.

4 For a detailed examination of how Ulster-Scots culture was used in unionist propaganda at the Home Rule period, see Module 3 of the Making Northern Ireland website: <makingnorthernireland.co.uk> [18 Jan. 2024].

5 For a fuller development of these issues, see Wesley Hutchinson, Tracing the Ulster-Scots Imagination (Belfast, Ulster University, 2017).

6 This image of the Ulster Scot as a fearless pioneer characterised by an uncompromising Presbyterianism and an energetic focus on “kith and kin” is constructed through an entire body of material that appears across the English-speaking world at the Home Rule period by authors such as John Harrison, W.T. Latimer, Whitelaw Reid, Henry Jones Ford and James Woodburn.

7 The expression “weaver poets” refers to a number of largely working-class poets writing in Ulster-Scots and in English who were active in Ulster, primarily in counties Antrim and Down, from the final years of the 18th century up to the second half of the 19th. Their work first received critical attention in John Hewitt’s seminal text, Rhyming Weavers, published in 1974.

8 Patrick Duffy, “Change and renewal in issues of place, identity and the local”, in Jim Hourihane (ed.), Engaging Spaces: People, Place and Space from an Irish Perspective (Dublin, The Lilliput Press, 2003), 
p. 23.

9 George Francis Savage-Armstrong, Ballads of Down (London, Longmans, Green and Co., 1901).

10 Louis J. Walsh, “The spaikin’ machine,” Our own Wee Town: Ulster Stories and Sketches (Dublin, The Talbot Press Ltd., 1928), pp. 207-224.

11 “Kailie n. v.” from the Gaelic “Ceilidh”, is: “a social evening, esp. among neighbours […] gen. including singing and the telling of stories.” Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/kailie> [6 Dec 2023]. It is striking that a large proportion of the examples given in the entry on “Kailie” come from Ulster.

12 Micí Mac Gabhann, Rotha Mór an tSaoil (Dublin, Foilseacháin Náisiúnta Teo. 1959). The book was translated into English by Valentin Iremonger as The Hard Road to Klondike (London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1962).

13 See the section, “Seanchaí albanach”, in Mac Gabhann, Rotha, pp. 55-58.

14 Stevenson was an elder of Fisherwick Presbyterian Church, Belfast, becoming Clerk of Kirk Session in 1917. “Loss to Fisherwick Church”, Belfast Telegraph, 8 June 1931.

15 Pat M’Carty, Farmer of Antrim: His Rhymes with a Setting (London, Edward Arnold, 1905), p. 25.

16 Pat M’Carty, “Poet and philosopher”, The Pen, 5 December 1896, p. 11.

17 The poetry was initially published in book form in 1903 and the Feis na nGleann was launched in 1904.

18 See Eamon Phoenix et al (ed.), Feis na nGleann: A Century of Gaelic Culture in the Antrim Glens (n.p., Stair Uladh, 2005).

19 Although the scope of this article does not allow us to develop this further, authors like Archibald M’Ilroy and Lynn Doyle show that Stevenson is far from being alone in his determination to think outside the binary box.

20 See Diarmait Mac Giolla Chriost, Jailtacht: The Irish Language, Symbolic Power and Political Violence in Northern Ireland, 1972-2008 (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2012).

21 Gerry Adams, The Politics of Irish Freedom, (Dingle, Brandon Book Publishers Limited, 1986), p. 147.

22 The Ulster Society for the Promotion of Ulster-British Heritage and Culture was set up in June 1985. See, New Ulster, Issue 1, Summer 1986. David Trimble, future leader of the UUP, was instrumental in the creation of the Society.

23 The three poets featured in the series are James Orr, Hugh Porter and Samuel Thomson.

24 James Fenton, The Hamely Tongue (Belfast, Ulster-Scots Academic Press, 1995).

25 For the objectives of the USHC and a list of affiliated organisations, see: <https://cain.ulster.ac.uk/ccru/research/directory/ushc.htm> [18 Jan. 2024].

26 However, in “Unionist Discourse and Identities in 21st-century Northern Ireland and Scotland (1998-2020)” (PhD dissertation, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, 2021), Nolwenn Rousvoal questions the day-to-day commitment of unionist politicians to Ulster-Scots. Finding little mention of Ulster-Scots in the party leaders’ speeches, at party conferences or in their manifestos from 1998 to 2016, she concludes that it is only “when sitting in front of Nationalists and Gaelic activists in parliament [that] equal funding for Ulster-Scots and parity of esteem became key aspects of the Unionist rhetoric”, pp. 221-222.

27 For a wide-ranging discussion on the politicisation of Ulster-Scots, see M. Nic Craith, “Politicised linguistic consciousness: the case of Ulster-Scots”, Nations and Nationalism, Vol. 7, 2001, pp. 21-37.

28 As Mac Póilin, put it (“Plus ça change,” pp. 46-47): “cries to ‘depoliticise’ [Irish] are usually disguised (political) attacks on nationalism […]” Exactly the same could be said, mutatis mutandis, for Ulster-Scots.

29 See Maurna Crozier (ed.), Cultural Traditions in Northern Ireland: Varieties of Irishness (Belfast, Institute of Irish Studies, 1989).

30 The following are only a few examples of this production: Padraig O Snodaigh, Hidden Ulster: Protestants and the Irish Language (Belfast, Lagan Press, 1973), 2nd ed. 1995; Risteárd Ó Glaisne, De Bhunadh Protastúnach, Rian Chonradh na Gaeilge (Baile Átha Cliath, Carbad, 2000); Ian Malcolm, Towards Inclusion: Protestants and the Irish Language (Belfast, Blackstaff, 2009); Aodán Mac Séafraidh et al, Turas Soir: Journey East Story Book/Scéalta as Oirthear Bhéal Feirste (Belfast, Turas, n.d. [2022]).

31 See https://www.ebm.org.uk/turas/ [18 Jan. 2024].

32 According to the 2011/12 Continuous Household Survey, 8% of Catholics had a knowledge of Ulster-Scots. See: DCAL, Strategy to Enhance and Develop Ulster-Scots Language, Heritage and Culture 2015-2035 (Belfast, DCAL, n.d.), p. 9.

33 Ian Adamson, The Cruthin: The Ancient Kindred (Belfast, Nosmada Press, 1974), new edition 2014.

34 Ullans, his preferred term for Ulster-Scots, is a portemanteau word from Ulster and Lallans, the term used for lowland Scots.

35 Ian Adamson, The Identity of Ulster: The Land, the Language and the People (Bangor, Pretani Press, 1982), p. 79.

36 An essential part of Adamson’s lexical strategy is to refer systematically to “Ulster Gaelic” as opposed to “Irish”. This emphasis on the Ulster dialect of Irish allows him not only to insist on the differences with other Irish dialects but also to underline the close links with Scots Gaelic.

37 Tom Paulin, A New Look at the Language Question (Derry, Field Day Theatre Company Limited, 1983), p. 16.

38 See Michael Hall, The Cruthin Controversy (Belfast, Island Publications, 1994).

39 The Folk Poets of Ulster series was published by Adamson’s imprint, Pretani Press. See note 21.

40 James Orr, “Song”, Poems on Various Subjects, Belfast, 1804, p. 159. Paulin wrote the Foreword to the re-edition of John Hewitt’s seminal study on the weaver poets, originally published in 1974. See John Hewitt (ed.), Rhyming Weavers & Other Country Poets of Antrim and Down (Belfast, The Blackstaff Press, 2004), pp. vii-xii.

41 Charlie Reynolds “Thae Tuk Mae Ain Tung”, Ullans, N° 8, Hairst 2001, p. 63.

42 “The yelling of the old teachers”.

43 Areas in which Irish is the dominant language.

44 For example, Mac Gabhann, Rotha, pp. 27-28.

45 For examples of recent writing in Ulster-Scots, see: Yarns, Celebrating Contemporary Writing in Ulster-Scots and Scots (Belfast, Ulster-Scots Agency, n.d. [2022 and 2023]).

46 The playwright and producer, Jonathan Burgess, works with Blue Eagle Productions, based in Derry/Londonderry. The play is unpublished.

47 In the first year of production, 2012-13, the play toured 88 schools and was seen by over 3000 pupils.

48 The two largest types of school in Northern Ireland are “controlled” schools, primarily Protestant, and “Catholic maintained” schools, which, as the name suggests, work within an explicitly Catholic ethos. For a useful critical analysis of the ways religion is embedded in the Northern Ireland school system, see Matthew Milliken & Stephen Roulston, How Education Needs to Change: A Vision for a Single System, Transforming Education, Briefing Paper 17 (Ulster University, 2022), available at: https://pure.ulster.ac.uk/ws/portalfiles/portal/117051627/TEUU_Report_17_Vision.pdf

49 Northern Ireland Assembly, Official Report, Hansard, 17 September 2013:<http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/assembly-business/official-report/reports-13-14/17-september-2013/> [18 Jan. 2024].

50 Alan Millar, “Beware those branding unionists a bunch of backwards bigots”, News Letter, 30 June 2021.

51 See Alan Millar, “Whaur is Campbell?”, Echas frae the big Swilly Swally (Ballymoney, Ullans Speakers Association, 2023), pp. 58-66.

52 Ibid., p. 64.

53 Seamus Heaney, “Burns’ Art Speech,” [1997], Finders Keepers, Selected Prose 1971-2001 (London, Faber and Faber, 2001), pp. 347-363.

54 Ibid., p. 348.

55 Ibid., p. 353.

56 https://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/poem/birl-burns/ [18 Jan. 2024].

57 Heaney, “Burns’ Art Speech”, p. 351.

58 See Angela Graham, “Developments in Ulster-Scots Writing”, https://irishlitsoc.org/developments-in-ulster-scots-writing/ (21 Jan. 2024).

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References

Electronic reference

Wesley Hutchinson, “Ulster-Scots: A Brief History of Dialogue”Revue Française de Civilisation Britannique [Online], XXIX-2 | 2024, Online since 10 May 2024, connection on 18 June 2024. URL: http://journals.openedition.org/rfcb/12055

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About the author

Wesley Hutchinson

Université Sorbonne Nouvelle
EA 4398: ERIN

Wesley Hutchinson is Professor Emeritus of Irish Studies at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris. He works almost exclusively on issues connected with Ulster-Scots history, literature and identity. Tracing the Ulster-Scots Imagination (Belfast, Ulster University) was published in 2018 and an on-line resource for schools - makingnorthernireland.co.uk – came out in November 2022.

By this author

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The text only may be used under licence CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. All other elements (illustrations, imported files) are “All rights reserved”, unless otherwise stated.

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