Linda Ervine speaks in Derry about Protestants and Irish

The sister in law of the late loyalist leader David Ervine will be in Derry next week to talk about the historical links between Protestants and the Irish language.

Linda Ervine is the Irish language officer at the East Belfast Mission and she has been invited to Derry by the Droichead Project, based at Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, as part of the Seachtain na Gaeilge celebrations.

She will deliver her talk, ‘The Hidden History of Protestants and the Irish Language,’ in An Chultúrlann on Tuesday at 1pm.

Mrs Ervine’s husband, Brian, is a former leader of the UVF-aligned Progressive Unionist Party and her brother in law, the late David Ervine, was also a leader of the party.

Her presentation will look directly at the historical links between Protestants and the Irish Language. Lisa Anderson, Droichead Development Officer said: “It is a commonly held belief that the Irish language is the sole preserve of those from a perceived nationalist or Catholic background. Thankfully, that perception is changing and Linda will outline how embracing the language does not dilute a person’s political or religious beliefs.”

The talk will be given alongside an exhibition of images which the Droichead Project has created and which are partly based on the research Linda has done. The event is free and light refreshments will be available for the lunchtime talk in the Cultúrlann Theatre between 1.00pm and 2.00pm.

On a similar theme, Droichead is also staging ‘The Life and Times of Thomas Russell’ at An Chultúrlann on Friday, March 14 at 8pm. The show celebrates the life of the Anglican and founding member of the Society of United Irishman through words and song. Tickets are available at the door at a cost of £7 (£5 concessionary).

Throughout Seachtain na Gaeilge in An Chultúrlann a series of events will be held, culminating in a programme of activities for children on St Patrick’s Day with face painting, balloon modelling and a comedy act.