Thursday, 14 April 2011

Born Fighting

Some weeks ago I made a short film trailer, which lasted just a few minutes, about the Ulster-Scots contribution to the making of the United States of America.  It was filmed at the Andrew Jackson Centre in Carrickfergus and was to be used at an event in Washington, as part of Tartan Week.  This is a week that celebrates Scottish and Scotch-Irish heritage in America.

Yesterday I received this e-mail from Dr Nancy Groce, the Senior Folklorist at the American Folklife Center in the US Library of Congress.
Dear Minister McCausland:
Just a short note to let you know that I thought you did an excellent job in your introduction trailer to Senator Webb's documentary 'Born Fighting'.  I saw it on Friday night at the wonderful reception at the National Archive. (One of the more high-profile and successful events all season, thanks to the efforts of the NIB(Northern Ireland Bureau) and Scottish Office.)
The film does an excellent job of raising Americans understand of Scottish, Northern Irish and US history, and I think it will remain a popular staple on US television and in US classrooms for years to come.  Yuor introduction added a very nice touch by bringing contemporary Northern Ireland into the discussion.
I trust you are doing well.  It was a pleasure to host you last fall at the Library and I hope you'll stop vy and visit us again when your schedule allows.
Best wishes, Nancy Groce.
This is a good example of the way in which we can use Ulster-Scots culture and heritage to promote Northern Ireland around the world.  There is a Global Ulster, which reaches out to America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other lands.  I like that concept of Global Ulster because it reinforces the fact that the Ulster-Scots were indeed a pioneering people.

Dr Groce says that the film Born Fighting will be'a popular staple on US television and in US classrooms for years to come' and that is good news for Northern Ireland.

Congratulations to Norman Houston and his staff at the Northern Ireland Bureau for organising this event.  I had the opportunity of meeting Senator James Webb when I was out in Washington last year and that conversation led on to the event that took place last Friday evening.

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