A Northern Ireland MP has once again stayed true to his Ulster Scots identity.
Jim Shannon, MP for Strangford, has taken his Westminster Queen’s Oath at the House of Commons and carried on his tradition of delivering it in his “mother tongue”… Ulster Scots.
He said: “Being brought up in Ballywalter and having learned Ulster Scots from an early age, it is something that I am tremendously proud of. I love the Ulster Scots tongue, the words, the music, the poetry and the ancestry are beautiful.
“The Americans are proud of their Ulster Scots heritage and indeed 17 American Presidents have Ulster Scots heritage – and it was an honour for me to highlight the tongue that is used day and daily in Ards and Strangford.
“This week at Westminster I took the opportunity to take my oath in Ulster Scots and show that it is alive and well within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
“While others won’t take the oath – and therefore can’t or won’t take their seats to do the business they are elected to do – it is my honour and privilege to take the oath in both tongues and to work hard for those who have elected me to do the business for them in my constituency of Strangford.
The seven Sinn Féin MP’s elected at the last general election have refused to take the Queen’s Oath as it is against their republican principles. For this reason they can only participate in business outside the Common’s chamber.