The December meeting of the Bellaghy Historical Society was addressed by Mr. Alec Blair, the well known Historian and Lecturer, on the subject of “Ulster Dialects”. This proved an absorbing topic and was very much enjoyed by his audience.
Mr Blair pointed out the richness of out local manner of speaking and stressed that we should be very proud it. The main influence was and continues to be Gaelic Irish which in the 1600s had superimposed on it the speech brought in by the English and Scottish settlers. The French Huguenots also contributed to our vocabulary.
He gave many amusing examples of words which are in common use here, which would be incomprehensible to other English speaking countries. Mr. Blair read several delightful poems incorporating Ulster expressions with which we are familiar and these were greatly appreciated by his listeners.
Thanking the Speaker who is always welcome in Bellaghy, the Chairperson, Mrs Mary Breslin, reminded members of the Society’s book in its new format with two added chapters whose sales are going well and which would make a good present for natives who have left the area and retain an interest in Bellaghy. These can be obtained at The Bawn, Vivo and Costcutters supermarkets in Bellaghy, The Bridewell, O’Brien’s and Andrew’s in Magherafelt and at the Monastery in Portglenone.
The Speaker in January will be Mrs Pearl Hutchinson from Kilrea Historical Society, whose topic will be “A Walk Around Kilrea” an historic Plantation town also well known to the local farming community as a Market town.
Well known Historian and Lecturer Mr Alec Blair was the guest speaker at the December meeting of the Bellaghy Historical Society.