Ulster Scots and Irish Festival at Strule Arts Centre

Published: 27th January 2016

A successful one day festival of Ulster-Scots and Irish culture was held in Strule Arts Centre, Omagh on Saturday 23 January 2016.

 The festival, which was organised by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, featured an all-day Irish language course for three levels of learners, a presentation on the history of the Ulster Scots traditions, a workshop on song writing with Meteor award winning singer songwriter John Spillane, and a festival concert.
Learners of Irish were given tuition in the language by well-known Irish teacher Malachy Mc Namee and by young Irish language enthusiasts Michaeline Donnelly and Máirtín Ó Gormlaithe.  Gary Blair from the Ulster Scots Agency shared his experiences of growing up in Co Antrim speaking Ulster Scots and also talked about the personal importance of the Ulster Scots tradition to him.

Award winning and Cork based artist, John Spillane, also led a well-attended song writing workshop in which he described the key to musical success as keeping positive.

The festival concert featured performances from Ulster Scots group KasK who played a mixture of traditional Scottish and Irish tunes and songs.  John Spillane played the second half of the concert and sang songs in both English and Irish from his musical repertoire.  The concert and one day festival were brought to a fitting close by KasK joining John Spillane on stage to play some traditional songs and tunes together.

The one day Ulster Scots and Irish Festival was organised by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s Irish Language Unit with support from the Ulster Scots Agency. For further information on the Council’s Irish Language Unit telephone Kevin Goodwin on 028 8224 7831 or email kevin.goodwin@fermanaghomagh.com.

 

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