Protestants and Unionists from East Belfast learning Irish on the Dingle Peninsula

A group of Protestants and Unionists from East Belfast are visiting the Corca Dhuibhne Gaeltacht on the Dingle Peninsula this week to learn Irish.

Minister of State at the Department of Health with special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly visited the group west of Dingle today at Brú na Gráige where he too learned Irish as a student.

The majority of the group are from the Methodist East Belfast Mission and are attending Irish classes as part of the ‘Turas’ programme.

“Turas” meaning journey or pilgrimage in both Irish and Scots Gaelic, is designed to connect people from Protestant communities to their history through the medium of the Irish language.

The programme offers up the 13 weekly Irish language classes for a range of ability levels, as well as cultural activities and heritage themed sessions in East Belfast.

The group are based at Brú na Gráige near Baile an Fheirteáraigh on the Slea Head Drive; this week they visited Ionad an Bhlascaoid and old Protestant parishes west of Dingle with an tAthair Tomás Ó Murchú, who helped organised the trip, and Linda Irvine of Turas.

Momentum is gathering behind the introduction of an Irish Language Act for Northern Ireland; elected representatives across five political parties gathered in Belfast yesterday with Conradh na Gaeilge in a show of support.