Former DUP MLA and Culture Minister, Nelson McCausland has made some interesting comments to the News Letter in response to Arlene Foster’s engagement with the Irish Language Community.
Former Culture Minister Nelson McCausland yesterday told the News Letter that an inclusive cultural Act “could well be the way forward”. He added: “It would recognise that there is more than one indigenous minority language in Northern Ireland and more than one cultural tradition.”
Mr McCausland believes a culture Act could help to rectify what he described as “the cultural wrongs imposed on Northern Ireland”.
He added: “The Belfast Agreement embedded preferential treatment for the Irish language to the neglect of other cultural traditions and enshrined that inequality in law. “Ulster-Scots language and culture, Orange culture and Ulster-British culture are part of our cultural wealth, as is the Irish language, and all should be respected.
“Unfortunately Sinn Fein have been demanding a stand-alone Irish Language Act that takes Irish Gaelic culture out of that diversity and places it above the other cultural traditions.”
Mr McCausland felt the current impasse at Stormont could be resolved by “recognising that the issue of cultural identity lies at the heart of the matter”.
“A Culture Act that values and affirms our indigenous cultural identities and cultural traditions, all of them, including Ulster-Scots, could well be the way forward. It is certainly worth exploring,” he added.
David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs