Thug mé faoi ndeara an ráiteas seo agus mé ag glanadh mo bhosca r-phoist. Táim go fóill ag fáil ráitis ón DUP gí go bhfuil mé imithe ón nuachtán le tamall.
Ar aon nós, níor luaigh mé cultúr nó tuiscint ar chultúir riamh roimhe leis an DUP. Ach seo ráiteas ó Robin Newton, Ball Tionóil ó Oirthear Bhéal Feirste, an togh-cheantar céanna le Peter Robinson, ina n-admhaíonn sé, den chéad uair, go bhfuil áit ag cultúr na hÉireann – agus ag an Ghaeilge – i gcultúr an Tuaiscirt agus inár ‘gcomhoidhreacht Bhriotanach.
Tá an ráiteas ina iomláine anseo ach seo an sliocht tabhachtach.
There is no doubt that Irish culture as epitomised by the Irish language, music, dancing and art is a strong influence. Similarly Ulster-Scots has undergone what can only be described as a revival over the last fifteen years or so with more than 200 groups now in existence throughout the Province. But are there other cultures present here that have not been tapped in to or explored to their full potential? Undoubtedly our new immigrant communities bring with them their cultures and traditions from central and eastern European locations and they need to be cherished and built upon as a potential way of drawing visitors to Northern Ireland. But for those of us who have been here for generations, what is our shared culture, which transcends community differences? For want of a better phrase can we say there is such a thing as British culture? To be sure, the four component parts which make up the United Kingdom have regional cultures, but what of our shared experience?
Given that the majority of people in Northern Ireland and indeed throughout the rest of the United Kingdom define themselves as British, and that our nearest neighbour is a society that is built largely upon British cultural foundations, what is our common culture, which overrides regional cultural affiliations such as Irish, Ulster-Scots, Welsh and English (with it’s various sub-divisions) and can we exploit this commonality to our advantage?
Lón machnaimh gan amhras…