“Turas” meaning journey or pilgrimage in both Irish Gaelige and Scots Gàidhlig is an Irish language project which aims to connect people from Protestant communities to their own history with the Irish language. Turas is based on the belief that the language belongs to everyone and that it can be a mechanism of reconciliation.
Ivor was probably what can be described as a reluctant learner, as he says himself, he only only came to a class because he was invited. However he was surprised to discover that he enjoyed learning Irish, it was good fun. Before venturing into Turas, Ivor had no idea that the language was all around him. When Ivor opened the door of that classroom he opened the door into a whole new world.
Turas provides workshops and talks on the historic links between Protestants and the Irish language, as well as discussions around the relevance of the language in present-day society. The project also facilitates periodic talks on a range of other topics related to language and culture. For details, please contact Linda.
Turas project leader Linda Ervine can be contacted below
Irish Speaking Soldiers of the Great War- Gaeilgeoirí an Chogaidh Mhór as Oirthear Bhéal Feirste
With funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Cairde Turas researched Irish-speaking soldiers from east Belfast who fought in World War 1. A team of volunteers identified 74 soldiers based on the 1911 Census and Jason Burke’s database of the Great War. The soldiers were from inner east Belfast.
They lived in the working class communities around Ballymacarrett and worked in the local shipyards and factories. They included groups of brothers, fathers and sons, workmates and neighbours. Some died in the war, amongst those who returned home were many who were very badly injured.
Their stories are a poignant account of the lives of young working class men and an insight into the linguistic diversity of east Belfast before the Great War.