The old Guildhall gets an embarrassing new ‘language’

REFLECTION. . . . .The new Reflective Space in Derry's Guildhall dedicated to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry. 1906JM15

REFLECTION. . . . .The new Reflective Space in Derry's Guildhall dedicated to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry. 1906JM15

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Congratulations to all who played any part in the refurbishment of the Guildhall, except to those who thought it a good idea to have signs in so-called Ulster-Scots.

The hall itself is looking truly magnificent. The stained glass windows always looked well but if you haven’t seen them recently, prepare to be amazed. The grandest cathedrals in the world don’t have nicer windows. All around you’ll see the results of superb craftsmanship. And, the impressive new Council Chamber to the rear of the main hall is flooded by natural light and has a beautiful recently rediscovered ceiling. Combine these attractions with excellent displays, friendly staff and a coffee shop and the restored Guildhall is so worth visiting.

Scottish Minister for Culture, Fiona Hyslop was recently shown around by our new Mayor and Mayoress. I’m told Ms Hyslop was impressed but I wonder what she made of the embarrassing ‘language’ included on the signs along with English and Irish. Did someone have to explain to Ms Hyslop, no, honestly we’re not trying to take the p***? Obviously, Scottish people don’t have an equivalent to Ulster-Scots. They don’t feel any need to have such a ridiculous cringe-inducing joke ‘language’. It’s a joke that has gone too far already. Preserving archaic words is good – that adds to linguistic richness – but it’s mischievous to turn a few dialect words into a ‘language’ nobody knows or speaks. Can there be anyone who doesn’t understand what, “Up to Balcony” or “Suas go dtí Balćoin” means who’d be helped by the translation, “Up til Ootshot”?