Ervine to open Gaelic centre in Republic

Linda Ervine
Linda Ervine

The sister-in-law of a dead loyalist icon is to open an Irish language centre on the other side of the border.

Linda Ervine, relative of UVF bomber-turned-political thinker David Ervine, will perform the official opening ceremony for Aras na nGael in Omeath, County Louth.

The ceremony will be on Friday, September 12.

Ms Ervine came to prominence last year when she revealed plans to open up an Irish language course in the Skainos centre on the loyalist Newtownards Road area of Belfast; something which came to fruition in January.

Áras na nGael is the brainchild of the recently reformed Omeath branch of Conradh na Gaeilge (the Gaelic League).

The original branch was formed in 1899.

Branch chairman Neville McCann said: “Linda Ervine has done more to raise the profile of learning the Irish language than anyone else we can think of in recent years.

“With her classes in East Belfast she has made a breakthrough in what must be considered a less than promising environment, by stressing that the Irish language belongs to everyone – those who speak it and those who don’t.

“Our environment is more promising because Omeath was the last Gaeltacht on the east coast and there were native speakers here in living memory.”