3/3/16 – Stormont Tour

On 4/2/16 the group had a very informative tour of Parliament Buildings (Stormont) hosted by Adrian Cochrane-Watson MLA and the Interstate Partnership, Parkhall in conjunction with the Down Capacity Group. For more info please click here!

25/2/16 – North Belfast Remembers

On 25/2/16  the group held a discussion on Human Rights and the effect that human rights abuses can play in fueling conflict. For more information please click here!

18/2/16 – Human Rights with Maggie Beirne

Last night the group held a discussion on Human Rights and the effect that human rights abuses can play in fueling conflict.

We hosted a quest speaker, Maggie Beirne, who traveled from London to give the talk. For more details click the following link – http://www.dalaradia.co.uk/?page_id=356

Motorsport Legends Rally for Columbanus – 22/11/15

Dalaradia will be taking part in the Motorsport Legends Rally for Columbanus on 22nd November 2015:


Photos have been added to the Gallery of the event. Please click here!

Democracy In Action – 21/10/2015

Yesterday the Reach Project was delighted to hold a conference in the Skainos Centre, Belfast, themed “Democracy In Action”.

Our presenter was Mr Gary Harte, Outreach Officer for The Houses of Parliament who traveled from London to facilitate our event, through his work with Dalaradia, one of the Reach constituent groups .


Addressing a packed room he spoke at length to the assembled audience. Invites had been sent out to all sections of Unionism and we were thrilled to engage with people from Greater Belfast, with others traveling from areas such as Bangor, Newtownards, Antrim, Ballymena, Carrickfergus and Larne. Our guests were elected political representatives, authors, grass roots activists, a former Lord Mayor of Belfast and community workers from groups such as diverse as UKIP, North Down Capacity Building, DUP, Ballymacarrett Somme, Pretani Consultants and The Hubb Centre amongst others .

Gary was an engaging speaker and gave a fantastic insight into the workings of Parliament, especially how it affects Northern Ireland, with a lively audience who later commentated on how successful the event had been.

Gary made many new contacts and the group agreed to further events in the future including a trip to The Houses of Parliament.

Please note Parliament runs from 16 – 22 November 2015 find out more at:




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Loyalist Communties Council Launch

Dalaradia is proud to have been involved in the Loyalist Communties Council since day one of the initiative, which has been in preparation for the past 18 months. We as a group welcome these positive steps and fully support both the initiative, and the drive towards a fuller, lasting peace that it represents.

“We accept the democratically expressed will of the electorate, however a vacuum in loyalist communities has been created which has led to significant disenchantment with politics, and to our communities being largely ignored and neglected.

“It is no coincidence that the attainment levels of working class loyalist young people are the lowest in the UK.

“It is our desire to make a meaningful contribution to reversing this situation, to give our young people hope for the future, and to help bring structures which will improve our communities and protect our culture.”







Somme Centre

Please click the following link for a report on our recent trip to the Somme Centre:



The Queen of Pretania – the Brytenwalda

Conlig CommunityAssoc's photo.

Main Street, Conlig, where I learned everything I know. The Telephone Kiosk  is beside my house. My two sisters and I are on the right.

Today Queen Elizabeth celebrates the 63rd year of her accession to the British throne, making her the longest reigning monarch in British history, the previous serving being her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria, who died in 1901. In the early 19th century, with fear of revolution and counter-revolution, there was also the knowledge that the monarchical system was well entrenched throughout most of the world, as was evident in the funeral cortège of King Edward VII. But the First World War was to change all that. Monarchies and empires were to fall like ninepins, to be replaced by the ghastly 20th Century dictatorships of Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot. If Verdun and the Somme were the price of victory, Auschwitz and Dachau were the price of defeat. The Royal Family saved us from all that.

In the 21st century, although constitutional monarchies continue to exist in Europe and Asia, there has been a steady if gentle decline in their significance and they seem to have less and less relevance to young people. Nowadays, demands of the monarchy are not measured in the mystery and magic of history and heritage, but in best value and media hype over family problems. Gone are the days of Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Few are there left to stand with Cuchulainn against the mighty Maeve and fight the Morrigan. Few weep for Deirdre and the Sons of Usna. Few follow Finn and the Fianna or hear the poems of the great Oisin. These heroes are nothing if they have not the romance of royalty. The very idea of a republican form of government would have been repugnant to their Old Irish system of law.

Princess Elizabeth, the elder daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York (later GeorgeVI and Queen Elizabeth), was born at 2.40am on 21st April 1926 at 17 Bruton Street, the London home of her mother’s parents, the Earl and Countess of Strathmore. The Princess was brought up at the family home at 145 Piccadilly and Royal Lodge, Windsor Great Park. It was at the latter that she had her own small house, called in the Old British tongue Y Bwthyn Bach (The Little Cottage) which was presented to her by the people of Wales in 1932 and installed at Windsor in December that year.

The family moved into Buckingham Palace on 15th February 1937 and Princess Elizabeth attended the coronation of her parents as King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey on 12th May. She enjoyed a happy childhood with loving parents who gave her every opportunity to mix and make friends with other children of her own age. In 1939 she met her third cousin Prince Philip of Greece and by 1944, when she was just eighteen, it was clear that she was in love with him. Following the War, her engagement was announced on 10th July 1947 and her wedding was celebrated at Westminster Abbey on 20th November that year.

On the death of her father her coronation took place on 2nd June 1953 at Westminster Abbey, signifying the hopes of a new Elizabethan age. Against the wishes of her cabinet she insisted that her coronation be televised so that as many as possible should be able to observe the ceremony and from the time of her accession she has worked assiduously at her many constitutional duties.The Queen has been very fortunate during her reign to have been spared the constitutional crisis that so marked the reign of her grandfather King George V.

Speaking on the occasion of her Silver Jubilee on 4th May 1977 she said of nationalist aspirations “I number Kings and Queens of England and of Scotland and Princes of Wales among my ancestors and so I can readily understand these aspirations. But I cannot forget that I was crowned Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Perhaps this Jubilee is a time to remind ourselves of the benefits which union has conferred, at home and in our international dealings on the inhabitants of all parts of the United Kingdom.”

The Queen has done much to insure that the monarchy has adapted to social change, while remaining a strong force for continuity and stability. She has sought to modernise the monarchy and render it more informal, while at the same time preserving its dignity and its roots in tradition, based as it is on the ancient Brytenwalda, ruler of all Britain and its islands including Ireland and accepted in early, medieval and modern times by the scholar priests of the Vatican.So it is not inevitable that the institution must be dumbed down or made to disappear altogether. There remains much scope for our sovereign to play a significant role in filling the gap left by a modern political system which responds generally to the needs and wishes of a majority of voters while remaining insensitive to the needs of others, particularly ethnic minorities and disadvantaged groups.

There is an acknowledged role for a monarch who can encourage, advise and council with legitimate authority to counteract the excesses of a majoritarian government. Inevitably, the precise role of The Queen in advising her ministers will not be known for some time. Yet consider The Queen in 1976 when she encouraged James Callaghan, as Foreign Secretary, to take an initiative to solve the Rhodesian Problem, or 10 years later when she gave a subtle rebuke to Margaret Thatcher who continued to oppose sanctions against South Africa over apartheid, or the Prince’s Trust which has done so much to help the deprived and alienated youth of our country in a way that the political process never could.

The year 2013 still sees a monarchy held in high esteem throughout the world, imbued with the established wisdom of an ancient civilisation; a monarchy which is the embodiment of the culture and heritage of Great Britain (Albion) and Little Britain (Ireland); a monarchy whose Ulster Scots origins lie deeply in the heartlands of Ireland’s most ancient kingdoms, the hill of Tara, the Ulster realms of Dalriada and Dal Fiatach, and the Cruthin Kingdom of Dalaradia, as well as those of England, Scotland and Wales; an enduring symbol of the shared inheritance and common identity of all the peoples of these British islands, the ancient Isles of the Pretani.

The ancient British ritual centre of Tara is of immense significance. The pre-Celtic Cruthin King of Tara, Congal Claen (Cáech or One-Eye), overking of Ulster and Scotland was one of the Queen’s ancestors. Known to us through the Seventh Century Old Irish Law-Tract on Bee-Keeping Bechbretha, which stated Congal was King of Tara until a bee-sting in his eye put him from his kingship, he was killed at the watershed Battle of Moira in 637AD. So when the Queen visited the Republic of Ireland in May 2011 she was coming home and, as Chairman of the Somme Association, I was honoured to be introduced to her there.

The Queen’s grandson Prince William’s ancestors have very strong Ulster connections, and he  has one of the most illustrious family trees in History, with much of the Ulster and English aristocracy included in the Spencer family tree, the Scottish in Bowes Lyons, and the whole continent’s in the Mountbattens. Not only is he descended from Stuarts and Tudors, but O’Neill and McAlpine, even Sarsfield and Schomberg.  Although for generations they tended to marry European Royals, most of the British input to the Royal Genes is via the Queen Mother and Princess Diana, whose mother was from a Cork family, her grandmother from County Tyrone, ancient British Venniconia.



Crewe Hill & Monkstown Graveyard

Please lick the following link for a report on our recent trip to Crewe Hill & Monkstown Graveyard


The Dalaradia Burns Supper – Ian Adamson OBE

“Tonight, as Patron of the Dalaradia Historical group , I attended, with my colleague in Pretani Associates, Helen Brooker, the Second Annual Dalaradia Burns Supper at Whiteabbey Masonic Centre, Newtownabbey..The Dalaradia Burns Supper is unique in that it focuses on the local Dalaradian poet James Orr of Ballycarry and his work.

James Orr (1770 – 24 April 1816) was a poet or rhyming weaver from Ulster also known as the Bard of Ballycarry, who wrote in English and Ullans or Ulster Scots. He was the foremost of the Ulster Weaver Poets, and was writing contemporaneously with Robert Burns. According to that other great Ulster poet, John Hewitt, he produced some material that was better than Burns, including his masterpiece ” The Irish Cottier’s Death and Burial“.

Orr joined the patriotic Society of United Irishmen, or Libertymen as they knew themselves, in 1791 and took part in the Presbyterian Irish Rebellion of 1798. The United Army of Ulster, of which he was a part, was defeated at the Battle of Antrim and after a time hiding from the authorities, he fled to America. He remained there for a short time, earning a living by working for a newspaper, but returned to Ballycarry in 1802 under an amnesty. He died in Ballycarry in 1816 at the age of 46.

An imposing monument to Orr, erected by local Freemasons in 1831, is sited in the Templecorran cemetery near Ballycarry, in memory of the great Mason and Ulster Weaver Poet. Orr had been a charter member of the Lodge, so that it was appropriate that the Dalaradia Burns Supper is held in Whiteabbey Masonic Centre.

In 1992, I published, under my imprint, Pretani Press, the three-volume Folk Poets of Ulster series , thus initiating the modern Ulster-Scots revival in Northern Ireland. The three titles in the series were: The Country Rhymes of James Orr, the Bard of Ballycarry 1770-1816; The Country Rhymes of Hugh Porter, the Bard of Moneyslane c. 1780; and, The Country Rhymes of Samuel Thomson, the Bard of Carncranny 1766-1816, all published by Pretani Press, Bangor, 1992. Series editors: J.R.R. Adams and P.S. Robinson.

I had also suggested the new name “Ullans” for an Ulster-Scots Academy which I proposed in June 1992, and formally established in Northern Ireland following a meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, between Professor Robert Gregg and myself on Thursday, 23rd July that year. The Ullans Academy was to be based on the Frisian Academy of Sciences in the Netherlands, which I had visited in 1978, and again in 1980, with a group of community activists from Northern Ireland, including Andy Tyrie, then Chairman of the Ulster Defence Association, and now Patron of the Ulster-Scots (Ullans) Academy. The essential characteristic of the Frisian Academy was its division into three departments: Linguistics and Literature, History and Culture, and Social Sciences. This tripartite division was to become our model.

The new Ullans Academy was intended to fulfil a need for the regulation and standardisation of the language for modern usage. These standards were to have been initiated on behalf of the Ulster-Scots community, Protestant and Roman Catholic, nationalist and unionist, and would be academically sound. What we didn’t need was the development of an artificial dialect which excluded and alienated traditional speakers . It seemed clear to me that it was fundamentally important to establish a standard version of the language, with agreed spelling, while at the same time maintaining the rich culture of local variants.

Therefore in 1995, I published for the Ulster-Scots Language Society, of which I was founding chairman,  a regional dictionary by James Fenton, The Hamely Tongue: A Personal Record of Ulster-Scots in County Antrim , under the imprint of the Ulster-Scots Academic Press, from my premises in 17 Main Street, Conlig, County Down. This was the most important record yet produced of current Ulster-Scots speech and is now, under the imprint of the Ullans Press, in its third edition. It was distributed by my friend David Adamson, who did so without remuneration.

Like the Frisian Academy on which it was based, the Ulster-Scots or Ullans Academy’s research was intended to extend beyond language and literature to historical, cultural and philosophical themes such as the life and works of Frances Hutcheson and C.S. Lewis, and to studies of the history of Ulidia in general, especially Dalriada, Dalaradia, Dal Fiatach, Manapia, Iveagh, Oriel, Venniconia, Galloway and Carrick, not forgetting Ellan Vannin, the Isle of Man.

The Chairman opened tonight’s event by outlining the important work of the group over the past year. The format of a traditional Burns Supper was then followed including Burns’ “Address to a Haggis“. I myself recited Orr’s brilliant political poem “To The Potatoe“..and later his “Elegy on the Death of Mr Robert Burns, the Ayrshire Poet“, which is unrivalled in its pathos. Helen Brooker, Community Distribution Director for the Ullans Academy then presented copies of The Bible in Plain Scots to the guests of the evening…Altogether another great success for The Dalaradia group.”