Willie`s Big Lang Danner

Willie Drennan of the Ulster-Scots Folk Orchestra launched his second book on Wednesday night at the Holiday Inn, Belfast. A foreword to the event was provided by Mark Thompson, head of the Ulster-Scots Agency, before Willie gave an overview of his book exploring the historical and cultural links between Ulster and South West Scotland – such as Saint Patrick and the Covenanters. Meanwhile the Governments Ulster-Scots phoneline has still had no calls since it was setup in 2004. View Willie Drennans presentation here…

Big Lang Danner Book Launch 2008

A Wheen o Fowk – A Mans A Man Fae A That

A Wheen o Fowk – Gallowa Hills

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]What was the language spoken by the inhabitants of the island of Ireland on the eve of the Norman landing in the 12th century?”[/i]

    I’m not sure what language they used Danny, but I do know that the Northern people called themselves Scots. [u]I know some might find it unbelievable[/u]. There is a reference in the biography of 12th century Malachy O’ Morgair ( Catholics call him St. Malachy). It says the people of Bangor call themselves Scots.

    Obviously, the Scot thingy was prevalent up until then.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    [i}Why then are the Celts referred to in literature circa 500BC?”[/i]

    C Chulainn, they were a different celt, nothing to do with those celts made up in the 19th century.

  • Danny

    Alright, I’ll answer for you.

    Gaoidhealg (Middle Irish spelling) was spoken all across the land. This of course included what we know now as Ulster. Like all languages, there were regional variations (although the divergence into strong dialects actually started a few centuries later). The old Irish spelling is Goídelc, classical Irish Gaoidhealg…modern Gaedhilge and standardised Gaeilge etc..

    Did you know that the word “Gall” (generally referred to as foreigner…was actually used first and foremost to refer to non-Gaoidhealg speakers. Donegal = Dún na nGall (the Fort of the foreigners)….a reference to the Norse who of course switched to Irish in just a few generations.

    It’s also interesting to know that in the 12th century Irish was more widespread then English geographically speaking. Ireland was merely the centre of a cultural and linguistic kingdom of sorts which included most of western Scotland and the Isle of Man.

    The language now generally known as Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) was widely referred to as the Yrish or Irishe Tonge by English speakers until the 17th century. Another term was “Erse” which means Irish.

    in the 1570s, Elizabeth I demanded that “Irishe speaking ministers be gotten out of Scotland” [for the purpose of conversion].

  • C Chulainn

    ‘C Chulainn, they were a different celt, nothing to do with those celts made up in the 19th century.’

    (shakes head, rubs brow, laughs)

  • Ulsters my homeland

    C Chulainn, you have no idea what is going on. you somehow thing celt from 500bc is the same as celt 500ad…..you need help.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    [b]C Chulainn[/b]

    [i]Why then are the Celts referred to in literature circa 500BC?2[/i]

    don’t understand what you mean?

  • Ri Na Deise

    You have now entered the twilight zone.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “You have now entered the twilight zone.”

    supper stuff, Ri Na Deise. you go girl!

  • Danny

    Shouldn’t that be Rí Na Deise? What’s Ri?

  • Ri Na Deise

    Yes and the fada should be on the e in deise too but my phone doesnt do Irish.:-)

  • C Chulainn

    From this…

    ‘nothing to do with those celts made up in the 19th century.’

    to this…

    ‘you somehow thing celt from 500bc is the same as celt 500ad…..you need help.’

    (again..shakes head, rubs brow, laughs)


    Although those who think Ulster Scots is a distinctive language in it’s own right are totally bonkers I fully accept that Unionists DO have a strong emotion and link to their Scottish/Ulster heritage. HOWEVER weren’t there also many Planters who came from the North of England? What language or dialects did they bring over? If only people like Lord Laird & Nelson McCausland wised up and stopped pushing the language bit maybe we would take this more seriously and give it the time and attention it deserves. As for Willie Drennan, well as a Nationalist I started watching ‘Dander with Drennan’ in a light hearted way but ended up gaining some knowledge and interest of the Ulster Scots heritage & history. In addition there were some cracking musicians too including Willie who is very entertaining. He was made for TV, he looks like he stepped out of a Plantation Time Machine and I say that as a compliment. When you look at it the Irish and Ulster Scots heritage, history and culture isn’t a million miles apart. if only we used this as a starting point towards mutual recognition and acceptance.

  • RepublicanStones

    I don’t know about you Lurig, but I could watch that wee girl dancing all day, I had a sudden urge for a box of Farley’s Rusks for some strange reason !

  • Congal Claen

    Hi C Chulainn/UMH,

    As far as I’ve read Cruthin is the Q celtic form of Pretani – Pretani being the earlier reference. Which is odd as Q is the more archaic form. Cruthin only came about when the Gaels arrived in Ireland referring to the Pretani they found living there.

    Adamson makes a point of highlighting in The Cruthin that Briton is not derived from Pretani. The Britons came later.

  • El Gow

    “Ulster-Scots is a regional discovery and not at all expansionist”


    Wae Haf giffen ewe lod a nae ledder ffs!

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    “Ulster’s history and culture, Gael and Scot, is far more interesting than any expansionist Irish tripe. Irish expansionism has only brought trouble to Ulster’s shores, long may the Ulster revival continue.”
    -What’s this nonsense?

    “Ireland and Irish is a relatively new term (post 12th century).”
    -Wow, well done Sherlock, for working that one out!

    “Anyone else want to add their bit on how the Irish were named or the island came to be known as Ireland?”
    -BTW, Here’s how ‘Ireland’ got it’s name ….and very true too! It comes with a blessing from the good Lord God above in Heaven, ahem!

    There’s a dear old land of leprechauns
    And wondrous wishing wells;
    And no where else on God’s green earth,
    There be such ample lakes and Dells.

    Boy, ‘ave you ever heard de story of
    How Ireland got its name?
    Well, I’ll tell you so you’ll understand
    From whence old Ireland came.

    A little bit of heaven
    Fell from the sky one day;
    And it nestled on the ocean
    In a spot so far away.

    And when the angels found it
    It twas a land so green and fair;
    Hibernia twas just like Heaven
    For it was so peaceful there.

    So they sprinkled it with stardust
    Just to make the shamrocks grow;
    tis the only place you’ll find them
    No matter where you go.

    And they dotted it with noble folk
    That made the place so gay and grand;
    And when they had it finished,
    They called it … “IRELAND!


    Very old verse taken from the ‘Lost Tribes of Israel and Atlantis’ a missing Biblical tome!

  • dunreavynomore


    Do you have the words of ‘Dumsnot, beauty spot’?
    I have lost or loaned mine.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    what is the Irish position on St. Malachy’s biography which states the people in Bangor considered themselves as Scots?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Hello all Irish, can you please explain to me why St. Malachy called the people in Bangor as Scots, when so-called Irish history tells us they were Irish?

  • ggn



  • Ulsters my homeland

    I can’t get a sat reference now.

  • ggn

    Come back with a reference, then I will take a minute and answer your inquiry.

    Have you ever studied Latin by the way?

  • George

    “It’s also interesting to know that in the 12th century Irish was more widespread then English geographically speaking.”

    In the 12th Century, the language spread in Ireland is believed to be around 90% Irish, 2% English and the rest the “French” of the time, especially in the south east. Names such as Devereaux, Butler, Roche, Toibin, Fitzmaurice, Fitzgibbon, Fitzpatrick, Fitzgerald etc are living testament to it.

    Ri Na Deise,
    I think Samsung do phones with Irish language texting.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]Come back with a reference, then I will take a minute and answer your inquiry.

    Have you ever studied Latin by the way?

    Posted by ggn “[/i]

    What has Latin got to do with 12th century Ireland? We were told the place was Gaelic speaking in the 12th century. My sis was learned this in GCE.

  • Ulsters my homeland


    The Making of Ireland By James F. Lydon, page 42.

    “St Bernard tells us when he returned to Ireland, ‘it seemed good to Malachy that a stone oratory should be erected at Bangor like those which he had seen constructed in other regions’. He was opposed by the conservative locals, one of whom asked him why he, ‘thought good to introduce this novelty into our regions ? We are Scots, not Gauls.'”

    You can download St. Bernard of Clairvaux’s Life of St. Malachy of Armagh in the link below.


    Venerable Bede wrote ‘The island abounds in milk and honey, nor is there any want of vines, fish, or fowl; and it is remarkable for deer and goats. It is properly the country of the Scots, who, migrating from thence, as has been said, added a third nation in Britain to the Britons and the Picts.’

  • ggn


    I suggest you enquire as to the origin of the word Scot.