Tonight the Ulster-Scots Community Network launched a series of new booklets on Ulster and Tennessee, the Plantation in Donegal, W F Marshall and Patrick as well as a teaching manual on Scottish country dancing. The manual will be accompanied by a music CD and will help teachers to introduce some simple dances into schools.
Among those taking part were the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Cllr Pat Convery, Damian Smyth (Arts Council), Niall Gibbons (Tourism Ireland), Ray Mullan (Arts Council), Alister McReynolds and Caroline Marshall, a granddaughter of W F Marshall. Caroline was accompanied by her mother, who is a daughter-in-law of W F.
They are all high quality publications, both in terms of content and production, and will be much appreciated by those who want to learn more about Ulster-Scots culture. They are a credit to the authors and the staff of the USCN.
In my comments at the end of the evening I picked up on the observation by Damian Smyth, who said that W F Marshall was 'on the margins', and I urged that we bring him back into the mainstream of Ulster culture.
On returning home I was pleased to see the excellent BBC coverage of the European Pipe Band Championships, which were held at Stormont a few weeks ago.