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Minister of State Officially Opens New Regional...

26 February 2013

On Monday 25th February, 2013 Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Dinny McGinley T.D. officially opened a new regional office for the Ulster-Scots Agency at a reception held in the new accommodation on William Street in Raphoe, County Donegal.


The aims of the Ulster-Scots Agency are to promote the study, conservation, development and use 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.

County Donegal is an Ulster-Scots heartland area and the Ulster-Scots Agency has had a regional office here since April 2004.  Before moving the regional office was located in first floor accommodation at the Diamond in Raphoe.

It is hoped that the new office location will offer the Ulster-Scots Agency’s regional office increased visual presence and greater accessibility for visitors and members of the general public.  The regional office has two permanent members of staff; Development Officer, Derek Reaney and Office Administrator, Audrey Freen.

As Minister McGinley T.D. arrived at the Ulster-Scots Agency’s new office in Raphoe, the sound of the pipes could be heard across the town as Pipe Major of Raphoe Pipe Band, Rodney Goudie piped on William Street.  The Minister was joined at the event by representatives of the Ulster-Scots Agency Chair, Tom Scott, Chief Executive, Ian Crozier, Director of Education and Language, Jim Millar and Board members, Ida Fisher, Val O’Kelly and Tony Crooks.

Chief Executive, Ian Crozier welcomed Minister McGinley T.D. to the reception, the Minister officially opened the new office by unveiling a plaque and then Ulster-Scots Agency’s Chair, Tom Scott thanked the Minister for officially opening the new office and following this, the Minister and guests were entertained by a display of Highland Dancing by Chloe McElhinney from the Moyne Highland dancers based in Donegal Town and music by local accordion player, Stewart Buchanan.

Speaking from the new office in Raphoe, the Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Dinny McGinley T.D. said “I am delighted to officially open the Ulster-Scots Agency’s new regional office in Raphoe today.  The Agency is charged with the responsibility of promoting the Ulster-Scots language and culture, both within Northern Ireland and throughout the island of Ireland, and the location of a regional office in Raphoe is important in that overall policy context.  The location in Raphoe is important also on a practical level to acknowledge the Ulster-Scots identity which is such a rich part of life here in Donegal and to demonstrate that Ulster-Scots culture can make an important contribution, particularly in the area of tourism.  In short, this new office will provide a vital doorway for tourists and local people alike to learn more about Ulster-Scots heritage and culture.”

Chair of the Ulster-Scots Agency’s Board, Tom Scott said “The Ulster-Scots Agency is extremely pleased to welcome Minister McGinley T.D. to officially open the Agency’s new office in Raphoe today.  This is an exciting day for the Ulster-Scots Agency in County Donegal and we are looking forward to welcoming many more visitors, including local people and tourists, to our regional office over the coming months and years.  There is a keen interest in Ulster-Scots in Donegal and we are confident that this move to William Street will ensure that the Agency has a strong visual presence in the town and an office that is welcoming and accessible to everyone”.