Derry City Council has organised a series of four talks in the Guildhall during the month of February and each of them explores a different aspect of ‘shared cultural heritage’. Acording to the Council's website the subjects are:
1. Placenames of County Derry
2. English as it is spoken in Ireland, which investigates the influence of Irish on the way English is spoken
3. The Ulster Protestant Gaelic Tradition
4. Our Shared Musical Heritage, with Irish language radio presenter Brian Mullan
There are some placenames of Ulster-Scots origin but the emphasis in the series is almost entirely on the influence of the Irish language. It is therefore a lost opportunity, especially as Londonderry and East Donegal are part of the coastal crescent which formed the original Ulster-Scots heartland. The addition of a talk on the Ulster-Scots language would certainly have added to the inclusivity and the value of the series.
The omission of a talk on Ulster-Scots and its influence on Ulster dialect was particularly disappointing as the series has been jointly funded by Derry City Council, Foras na Gaeilge and the Ulster-Scots Agency.