The Ulster-Scots Agency (Tha Boord o Ulstèr-Scotch) is a cross-border body for Ireland which seeks to "promote the study, conservation and development of Ulster-Scots as a living language, to encourage and develop the full range of its attendant culture, and to promote an understanding of the history of the Ulster-Scots [people]."
The remit of the agency is "the promotion of greater awareness and the use of Ullans and of Ulster-Scots cultural issues, both within Northern Ireland and throughout the island." "Ullans" and "Ulster-Scots cultural issues" are defined in inter-governmental agreement and enshrined in legislationas follows:
""Ullans" is to be understood as the variety of the Scots language traditionally found in parts of Northern Ireland and Donegal. "Ulster-Scots cultural issues" relate to the cultural traditions of the part of the population of Northern Ireland and the border counties which is of Scottish ancestry and the influence of their cultural traditions on others, both within the island of Ireland and in the rest of the world."
The agency is part of The North/South Language Body, established as a result of the Belfast Agreement of 1998. Its counterpart is Foras na Gaeilge, which was set up to promote the Irish language. The two bodies work together on some events, such as the National Ploughing Championships and the Balmoral Show.
It has its head office in the Corn Exchange Building in Belfast, and a regional office in Raphoe, in eastern County Donegal (one of the three counties of the historical province of Ulster in the Republic of Ireland).
The agency is overseen by an eight-member board, appointed by the North/South Ministerial Council.
Answering to the Board but with day-to-day executive authority is the CEO. In turn there are directors for education and language, community and promotion, and corporate services. The staff levels have always been modest, reported as around 16 in 2015. p.6:
It is jointly funded by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (tha Männystrie o Fowkgates, Airts an Aisedom in Ulster-Scots)in Northern Ireland and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media in the Republic of Ireland.
The agency delivers some projects itself, but also provides grants to charitable and community groups for language, musical and dance events. Bigger events include festivals and summer schools, but small projects are also supported.
School visits and fairs are a major area of activity.
Projects which have been undertaken include an audio-recording survey of native speakers, the compilation of a two-way Ulster Scots/English dictionary, a text base of written Ulster Scots, and an expert translation service.
In the same building as the agency's HQ, but with a separate entrance, the agency operates a Discovery Centre, which includes exhibitions about the language and its history, and has space for groups to study further.
Relevant bodies to which the agency provides funding include the Ulster-Scots Language Society, Ullans Speakers Association and the Ulster-Scots Community Network.
The agency publishes an English-language newsletter, albeit with some token Scots, several times a year, entitled The Ulster-Scot , as a supplement to the Belfast News Letter . The publication has also been made available free of charge upon request. An e-bulletin is also issued. Further publications are planned over time.
Aside from its main website, the agency operates sites around the plantation of Ulster, settlements in the United States, and Rathlin Island.
Northern Ireland is variously described as a country, province, or region which is part of the United Kingdom. Located in the northeast of the island of Ireland, Northern Ireland shares a border to the south and west with the Republic of Ireland. In 2011, its population was 1,810,863, constituting about 30% of the island's population and about 3% of the UK's population. The Northern Ireland Assembly, established by the Northern Ireland Act 1998, holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, while other areas are reserved for the British government. Northern Ireland co-operates with the Republic of Ireland in several areas.
Ulster is one of the four traditional Irish provinces, in the north of Ireland. It is made up of nine counties: six of these constitute Northern Ireland ; the remaining three are in the Republic of Ireland.
County Donegal is a county of Ireland in the province of Ulster. It is named after the town of Donegal in the south of the county. It has also been known as County Tyrconnell, after the historic territory of the same name, on which it was based. Donegal County Council is the local council and Lifford the county town.
Ulster Scots or Ulster-Scots, also known as Ulster Scotch, Scots-Irish and Ullans, is the dialect of the Scots language spoken in parts of Ulster in Ireland. It is generally considered a dialect or group of dialects of Scots, although groups such as the Ulster-Scots Language Society and Ulster-Scots Academy consider it a language in its own right, and the Ulster-Scots Agency and former Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure have used the term Ulster-Scots language.
The Ulster Scots, also called Ulster Scots people or Scotch-Irish (Scotch-Airisch), are an ethnic group in Ireland, found mostly in the province of Ulster and to a lesser extent in the rest of Ireland. Their ancestors were mostly Protestant Presbyterian Lowland Scottish colonists, the largest numbers coming from Galloway, Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Ayrshire and the Scottish Borders including nearby parts of Northern England, with others coming from further north in the Scottish Lowlands and, to a much lesser extent, from the Highlands.
The North/South Ministerial Council (NSMC) is a body established under the Good Friday Agreement to co-ordinate activity and exercise certain governmental powers across the whole island of Ireland.
Foras na Gaeilge is a public body responsible for the promotion of the Irish language throughout the island of Ireland, including both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. It was set up on 2 December 1999, assuming the roles of the Irish language board Bord na Gaeilge, the publisher An Gúm, and the terminological committee An Coiste Téarmaíochta, all three of which had formerly been state bodies of the Irish government.
The Culture of Northern Ireland relates to the traditions of Northern Ireland. Elements of the Culture of Ulster and the Culture of the United Kingdom are to be found.
Ulster English is the variety of English spoken in most of the Irish province of Ulster and throughout Northern Ireland. The dialect has been influenced by the Ulster Irish and Scots languages, the latter of which was brought over by Scottish settlers during the Plantation of Ulster and subsequent settlements throughout the 17th and 18th centuries.
Ulster is one of the four provinces of Ireland. Due to large-scale plantations of people from Scotland and England during the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as decades of conflict in the 20th, Ulster has a unique culture, quite different from the rest of Ireland. As all of Northern Ireland lies within Ulster and comprises about 90% of its population, the culture of Northern Ireland is very similar to that of the whole of Ulster.
The North/South Language Body is an implementation body, provided for by the Belfast Agreement, that exists to implement policies agreed by Ministers in the North/South Ministerial Council (NSMC) in Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland with regard to the Irish and Ulster-Scots languages on a cross border all Island basis.
Ian Adamson OBE was a Lord Mayor of Belfast. He was a member of the Ulster Unionist Party and was also a paediatrician.
John Dunn Laird, Baron Laird,, of Artigarvan was a Northern Irish politician, life peer and former chairman of the cross-border Ulster-Scots Agency. In 2013 Laird allegedly offered to lobby for a firm against parliamentary rules. Consequently, he resigned from the Ulster Unionist Party.
The Ulster-Scots Folk Orchestra is a Northern Irish band of musicians who perform music from the Ulster-Scots tradition. Formed in 2000, the USFO are part of a wider revival of interest in Ulster-Scots language and culture that developed during the 1990s. They draw on long established practices of community music-making, including gospel-singing, fiddling, piping, flute and accordion bands, drumming and fifing. Combining these traditions in innovative ways, they produce sounds that are both new and distinctive. Their focus on the local is complemented by the creative use of related traditions in Scotland, Ireland and the Scotch-Irish diaspora in North America.
Liam Logan is one of Northern Ireland's leading Ulster Scots enthusiasts and commentators who has made a significant contribution to the recent interest in the language as a native speaker, broadcaster, journalist and writer.
That part of the United Kingdom called Northern Ireland was created in 1922, with the partition of the island of Ireland. The majority of the population of Northern Ireland wanted to remain within the United Kingdom. Most of these were the Protestant descendants of colonists from Great Britain.
English is the most spoken language in Northern Ireland. There are also two recognised regional languages in Northern Ireland: the Irish language and the local variety of Scots known as Ulster Scots. Northern Ireland Sign Language and Irish Sign Language have been recognised since 29 March 2004.
fUSe FM Ballymoney is the first Ulster Scots Community radio station in the UK. Currently ran under the Ullans Speakers Association. Broadcasting on FM 107.5, online and via the TuneIn app from their studio based in Ballymoney, Co-Antrim, Northern Ireland within the Fuse Centre.