Picking up the Roll of Honour Aisling Award for her commitment to Irish language was Linda Ervine, Irish language development officer for East Belfast where she runs SEVEN Irish classes a week in the Turas project at East Belfast Mission.
Linda, is a sister-in-law of the late PUP leader David Ervine, who himself learned Irish while in prison.
Mrs Ervine has previously said,
“What the language does is, it allows people to explore the idea of Irishness in a non-threatening way. We are Irish. I feel I’m Irish.”
She learned from the 1911 census that her husband’s relatives had lived in East Belfast and spoke both Irish and English. Yet their signatures were listed on the Ulster Covenant. Linda deduced that their knowledge of Irish wasn’t linked to their politics.
Fair plé dhuit, in fairness.