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Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is celebrating the rich cultural and linguistic diversity within our communities in an innovative new Good Relations project supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme.

Coinciding with European Heritage Open Days events between September 6 and 21, the Connect Together / Ceangail le chéile / Yoke Thegither project will explore the Ulster Scots and Irish Language cultures through a series of inspiring cross-community events open to all members of the public, free of charge.

The project will incorporate a series of workshops, concerts, and talks connecting young and old. These will take place in various locations across Newry, Mourne and Down District Council’s seven different electoral areas, with the aim of recognising and celebrating the diverse cultural backgrounds, traditions and languages unique to these shores. The inspirational events will offer everyone an opportunity to appreciate the rich shared cultural heritage right on our doorstep.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Cathy Mason, said, “I am delighted to see this inspiring joint Ulster Scots/Irish language Peace IV project being launched.  It is fitting to launch the project as part of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council’s celebration of European Heritage Open Days (EHOD) as we celebrate our local culture, history, and architecture. It is important for us to reflect on the cultural and linguistic diversity within our community and to celebrate the richness of our indigenous languages and culture.”

The first event of the series will be a workshop delving into the histories of two very distinct musical traditional instruments. The Lambeg Drum and the Uilleann pipes share the commonality of being the only musical instruments indigenous to the island of Ireland and the aim of the event is to cast some light on their origins and shared histories. The evening will be topped off with a demonstration of the Lambeg Drum. Those attending the workshop will also discover the origins of the Uilleann pipes, which are typically associated with Irish traditional music. 

The first event takes place on Wednesday 8 of September at 6.30pm as part of European Heritage Open Days in the Friends Forever Europe, FFI Centre in Annalong at 10 Cornmill Quay. While all events are free many require pre-booking. Please book your place by emailing: connectingtogether2021@hotmail.com 

A list of programme details and further information will follow. Please keep an eye out in the local press and the Council’s social media channels.

Match funding for this project has been provided by The Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department for Rural and Community Development in Ireland.

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