Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has outlined her plans for the development of an Ulster-Scots Academy and Irish Language Academy.
The Minister said: “Last year, a review led by the Strategic Investment Board found that the MAGUSA has commissioned a wide range of research work which has created the conditions which can lead to the delivery of a future Academy. The review team also believe that the MAGUSA has taken its work as far as it can. It has recommended that the Department considers an alternative delivery mechanism for the creation of the Academy.
“I have asked the Ulster-Scots Agency, working with my Department, to draft proposals to establish an Ulster-Scots Academy and I have set up a Project Team within my Department to assist with this work. Once I receive the proposals, I intend to make an Oral Statement setting out the way forward and the role of the Ulster-Scots Agency in this process.”
In relation to Irish, the Minister said: “The recent growth and expansion of the Irish language has been impressive. Through both Irish-medium education and adult learning of Irish there is an increasing demand to learn the language. This has created a clear need for provision of Irish outside the traditional school environment. I believe this need will be best addressed through the establishment of an Irish Language Academy.
“I have asked that work be taken forward on how economic and social development and employment opportunities in relation to the Irish language can be developed together with adult learning within the framework of the Irish Language Academy.
“Irish and Ulster-Scots are unique and separate entities. Of course, organisations across the language spectrum share synergies and develop best practice. But one blueprint does not fit all. That is why I am seeking to develop and nurture these languages and cultures in a way that suits their specific needs.”