Page last updated at 09:30 GMT, Tuesday, 5 August 2008 10:30 UK

City hosts Ulster Scots festival

Ulster Scots festival
Actors recreate Derry's history on the city's walls

Visitors to Londonderry are enjoying the second Foyle Ulster Scots Festival which opened on Monday 4 August.

The festival runs until Friday 8 August and features the story of the city's siege, reenacted on the walls.

Organisers say Ulster Scots could boost the tourist industry.

James Kee, development worker for the Ulster Scots Agency, said when it came to the question of whether Ulster Scots was a language, everyone was entitled to their opinion.

"I feel most people should respect other people's cultures. There is definitely something worth preserving," he said.

"Admittedly, we have lost a lot of our language, but if we don't keep working on it, we could end up with virtually nothing left.


"With the work that the agency is doing, hopefully, Ulster Scots is making a comeback."

The second Foyle Ulster Scots festival is a week-long event offering visitors a programme that includes living history tours and actors in period costume recreating scenes from Derry's past - like the siege - on the city walls.

Culture Minister Gregory Campbell, who was at the launch, said that after years of limited resources and a lack of understanding, now was the right time to promote Ulster Scots and set up an academy.

"We need to see what various people through the Ulster Scots community have to say regarding that implementation group and how the academy would work," he said.

"I think there will be support for it. Given the considerable public sector support for the Irish language over recent years, I don't think there will be people who will now quibble if Ulster Scots is getting similar funding."

Drama, music and traditional dancing will keep festival-goers entertained.

Highlights include the Ulster-Scots Fling and the Highland Dance Competition and visitors can also enjoy bluegrass music.

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