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One City summit to hear from languages minister

By Staff Reporter

CULTURE Minister Carál Ní Chuilín will team up with Scotland’s Minister for Languages Alasdair Allen as part of the upcoming Belfast One City Conference.

The pair will be joined by a speaker from the Basque Country on a debate looking at ‘The Challenge and the Opportunity’ proffered by indigenous languages.

As well as being a speaker of Gaelic – and a columnist of some renown in that language for the Scottish press  – Minister Allen can also speak Scots.

Holding the Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages portfolio has put the SNP Member of the Scottish Parliament in the driving seat in regard to the promotion of Gaelic under the country’s Gaelic Language Act.

The title of the conference session on languages derives from a statement by Britain’s Prince Charles that “If Gaelic dies in Scotland, it dies in the world. If it flourishes in Scotland, then it sends out a message of inspiration and optimism to those who face similar challenges and adversities. Therein lies both the challenge and the opportunity.”

Hosted by the Belfast Media Group, the third annual One City Conference will hear from speakers representing every shade of political opinion in the city as well as from international guests including Rep. Eugene O’Flaherty, the highest-ranking Irish American in the Boston State House.

“We initiated the One City Conference to showcase the positive steps forward which have been taken in Belfast over recent times and to celebrate a city which is diverse but also united in its hopes for the future,” said Belfast Media Group Events Manager Connla McCann.

“No other conference brings together as many disparate voices from both home and abroad and we’re confident the presence of Scotland’s Minister for Languages will serve to heighten even further Belfast’s message of positive change.”

Taking place in five venues across Belfast – including the Cultúrlann and the new Titanic Belfast – the One City Conference will take place on May 10-11. For more details, go to

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