Yesterday I visited the McCracken International Summer School in North Belfast, which is now in its 11th year. It is based at the 174 Trust and also at St Patrick's School further up the Antrim Road. The summer school is part of the annual programme of the McCracken cultural society which promotes the Irish language in the north of the city and it was extremely well attended. While I was there there were performances in Irish and Scottish Gaelic and there was an international and multicultural lunch. I am very conservative in my tastes but the Colombian fruit salad was delicious!
In the evening I also visited the Cairncastle Ulster-Scots Festival, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary and growing year by year. The quality of the performers was very high and the evening was enjoyed by a very large audience. The festival runs through each day until Saturday, with the main cocnert each night in the the marquee, and then there is a Praise Service at 2.30 pm on Sunday. The growth in the festival is due to the hard work of the Cairncastle Ulster-Scots Society and reflects the growth in Ulster-Scots activity across the Province.