“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.
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 on
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.
On Sunday 18th November, with support from Conradh na Gaeilge, a plaque to the memory of John Feely was unveiled in the Skainos Centre.
John Feely was one of the most influential of the small band of Methodist horseback preachers who evangelised throughout Ireland, in the 19th century preaching in the Irish Language. He was born in Sligo in 1801 and died in Belfast in 1860.
In 2011, when the Skainos building in East Belfast was being constructed, a long-forgotten cemetery was uncovered. This led to the discovery of John Feely’s grave. Little was known about him at the time and the discovery was quickly forgotten about. However, the establishment of Turas, the Irish language project of EBM, led to renewed interest in his life and work and in particular, his contribution to the Irish language.
Reverend Roddie unveiling the plaque. Photo courtesy of Mark Doherty.