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16 October 2014
Ulster Scots Voices

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A beetle was for beetling champ wiCharlie Gillen

Charlie Gillen lives in Dervock, near Coleraine in County Antrim. He loves bluegrass music and works for the Water Board. His friend, Charlie Reynolds, grew up speaking Ulster-Scots from his father. The two men recite poetry and rhymes both together and on their own.

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"I could talk Ulster-Scots but I couldn't teach nobody nothing."

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He has a great recall for unusual words and phrases, and can shed light on meanings often long forgotten.

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"But for me, it's a beetle for beetling champ."

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Charlie is well known in his area as a talented and enthusiastic Ulster-Scots speaker and story-teller. In this short extract, he talks about his pride in his history and his identity as an Ulster-Scot.

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"Och, I'm proud to be what I am because my ancestors got nothing reached to them"

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Not everyone, however, takes such a pride in the language and culture. Charlie Reynolds recounts a meeting he had with one man who felt Ulster-Scots culture was dead:

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"Someone said to me, 'you know, we really have no culture,' and I thought, a pity of him. In my eyes he was a lost soul nearly. He didn’t have any connections to anything."

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Now listen to Iain McAfee's story >>

Hae Yer Ain Say / Tell Your Story...
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