What is Ulster-Scots

The term Ulster-Scots has, for nearly 400 years, referred to people, not place – the people who migrated from the Lowlands of Scotland to Ulster, and to the Ulster-Scots communities that they established right across the nine counties.
The Ulster-Scots Agency, or Tha Boord o Ulster Scotch as it is known in Ullans (another name for the Ulster-Scots language), has been given the legislative remit of the “promotion of greater awareness and use of Ullans and of Ulster-Scots cultural issues, both within Northern Ireland and throughout the island”.

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.

The Agency was established as a part of the North/South Language Body set up under the Belfast Agreement of 1998. The other part of the Language Body is Foras na Gaeilge which has responsibility for the development of the Irish (Gaelic) language. Each of these agencies has its own Board whose members together constitute the Board of the North/ South Language Body – otherwise known as Tha Boord o Leid in Ullans.

The Agency is jointly funded by the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure in Northern Ireland and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in the Republic of Ireland and is responsible to the North/South Ministerial Council.

The Agency has its main office in Belfast with a regional office in Raphoe, Co. Donegal an Ulster-Scots heartland area.

Ulster Scots Agency Juvenile Pipe Band 2015

The Ulster Scots Agency Juvenile Pipe Band competing at the 2015 UK Championships in Belfast.

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