2018-10-19 17:12 —
Linda Ervine comes from a Protestant background in East Belfast and she supports Northern Ireland remaining within the United Kingdom. So what is the connection with the Irish language? Her own interest began when she discovered from 1911 censuses that not only did some of her own ancestors speak Irish but that it was also widely spoken in several of the streets in East Belfast, the area of the city not typically associated with Irish speakers. For too long, Irish was a language which was mistakenly associated with one community and one political viewpoint and so, Linda set about changing all that. She is now an Irish language officer and activist in Turas since 2011. “Turas” meaning journey or pilgrimage in both Irish and Scots Gaelic, is an Irish language project designed to connect people from Protestant communities to their own history with the Irish language. Today Linda oversees 14 Irish language classes, dance, music and Welsh classes, which bring together people from all parts of Belfast. She has attracted criticism from people within her own community because of her support for an Irish Language Act. She sets about making the language accessible to everyone in order to dilute the power of those who would use it for political purposes. She sees it as having the potential to unify people, not to divide them.
An inspirational person, Linda!