Today (Thursday 19th July), Noel and I set off from Ballymoney to Raphoe in Donegal to meet the kids and leaders there. The Raphoe Ulster Scots recently hosted a very successful Ulster Scots festival that attracted good crowds and plenty of positive press coverage.
On the way, we passed the partly built building where the Orange Hall once stood in Bready and couldn't help but admire the dedication of the Ulster Scots of the North West who have successfully secured £500,000 funding to put in place an already impressive looking building that will undoubtedly act as a catalyst for the Ulster Scots community in that part of rural Ulster.
We soon arrived at Raphoe and quickly found the Cathedral Hall where we were greeted by team leaders and a squad of over forty children who were quite obviously enjoying this, the first Ulster Scots Summer School in the town. Splitting the groups into two, according to age, Noel and I were pleasantly surprised to discover that quite a few children and leaders spoke Ullans instinctively. The kids were well-behaved and keen to learn so we did our best to teach them and the event was a success for all concerned.
I would like to pay tribute to the leaders in Raphoe for organising a well-ordered and event-packed school. Also, a word for the kids who were keen and quick to learn the Ullans language. A great day in Raphoe!