Make the most of our shared Ulster-Scots heritage, MP urges
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From left - right: Jim Millar, Director of Education at the Ulster-Scots Agency, Ian Paisley MP, Cathy Jamieson MP and Ian Crozier, Chief Executive of the Ulster-Scots Agency.
KILMARNOCK and Loudoun MP Cathy Jamieson met with a delegation of public officials and community activists from Northern Ireland recently to discuss the potential for greater cultural co-operation around Scotland's shared heritage with Ulster.
The delegation, which consisted of representatives from the Ulster-Scots Agency and the Ulster-Scots Community Network, was in Westminster to raise awareness among MPs of Ulster-Scots culture and discuss opportunities for closer working between people on both sides of the North Channel.
Cathy was treated to entertainment from a variety of Ulster-Scots musicians and dancers, including Michelle Johnston, the Ulster-based World Champion Highland Dancer.
Cathy said: "There is a huge wealth of shared culture, heritage and identity between Scots and their kinsmen in Ulster, who have been closely linked for more than 400 years.
"I know East Ayrshire Council has done good work to promote these links and I'm keen to explore ways to build on that so more people in Kilmarnock and Loudoun will benefit from this shared history."
Ian Crozier, Chief Executive of the Ulster-Scots Agency, said: "We are delighted that Cathy was able to join us for our event in Westminster and that she is interested in helping us to develop opportunities around our shared Ulster-Scots heritage.
"Historically, the waters between Ulster and Scotland were much more of a bridge than a barrier, with people travelling back and forth over the years. We want to build bridges in terms of tourism, education and community that will benefit folk in both areas and believe strongly that our shared heritage is a great foundation for that.
"We look forward to working with Cathy to achieve this."
The Ulster-Scots Agency was established as part of the Belfast Agreement and is a public body sponsored by government departments in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. To find out more about Ulster-Scots, visit www.ulsterscotsagency.com
This article appeared in Cumnock Chronicle 01 Feb 13