03/04/2013: Minister and Minister of State visit Linguistic and Cultural organisations in Belfast
On a day-long visit to Belfast today (3 April 2013), the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan T.D. and the Minister of State, Dinny McGinley T.D. were welcomed by Carál Ní Chuilín, MLA, Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure. The Ministers were in the city for a whistle-stop tour aimed at showcasing linguistic and cultural traditions. They visited various venues, including the Ulster-Scots Agency, the Metropolitan Arts Centre (MAC), Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich and Coláiste Feirste.
Minister Deenihan said that he was delighted to have the opportunity to experience at first-hand the vibrant and exciting developments that are taking place in the city, especially in the arts sector. “The power of the arts to inspire, educate and bring communities together is well documented. Art can be used to engage and showcase our cultural heritage to both local and wider communities. Art is a means to both promote and protect our shared cultural heritage,” the Minster said.
Minister McGinley agreed that the visit was very successful and worthwhile as it afforded the opportunity to see the excellent work being done at community level across the city. He added, “I am pleased to see the enthusiasm and the passion for both Irish and Ulster-Scots in Belfast. It is important that we continue to work together, particularly through the agencies of the North South Language Body, to ensure that both Irish and Ulster-Scots continue to flourish. Through the sharing of our linguistic culture and traditions, we can better understand each other and continue to enjoy our shared heritage.”
Minister Ní Chuilín said that she was very pleased to have hosted this visit. “I am proud to be able to show Minister Deenihan and Minister McGinley my native city. Both in Belfast and across the north we have much to be proud of with regard to our creativity, culture and traditions. I hope the Ministers have gained an insight into our impressive range of cultural and artistic venues. The arts and creative industries play an active role in broadening our tourist offering and attracting people to our cities and towns. We must all work together to ensure that we harness this potential and help to build a vibrant and successful economy,” the Minister said.