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16 October 2014
A State Apart

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Ulster Scots
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Promoters of Ulster Scots set up the Ulster Scots Language Society in 1992 and the Ulster Scots Heritage Council in 1994. This interest is now reflected at an official level in the commitment in the Good Friday Agreement to show respect, understanding and tolerance for Ulster Scots. It is worth noting that there is considerable interest in non-linguistic elements of Ulster-Scots, particularly music and dance.    

Since the signing of the Agreement in April 1998 the North/South Language Body was established as one of the six cross-border bodies under the policy and direction of the North/South Ministerial Council. This body is composed of two separate and largely autonomous agencies: the Irish Language Agency, Foras na Gaeilge and the Ulster Scots Agency, Tha Boord o Ulstèr-Scotch. Foras na Gaeilge is responsible for the promotion of the Irish language on an all-island basis. Tha Boord o Ulster Scotch has responsibility for the promotion of greater awareness and use of Ulster Scots language and its attendant culture, both within Northern Ireland and throughout the island. Maighréad Uí Mhairtín, Chair of Foras na Gaeilge, and George Patton, Chief Executive of Tha Boord o Ulstèr- Scotch, are the joint chairs of the North/South Language body. The Ulster Scots Agency has its main office in Belfast.

In November 2000 the Ulster Scots Agency launched its £4.1m three-year development programme with funding from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure and the Republic's Department of Arts, Heritage the Gaeltacht and the Islands. Among its aims is the establishment of the School of Ulster Scots Studies in the University of Ulster, an Ulster Scots/English dictionary and a major tape-recorded survey of native Ulster Scots speakers.    
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