Other News In Brief

City Hall Event Marks Ulster-Scots Language Week

Belfast City Hall has hosted a special event to mark Ulster-Scots Language Week/Ulster-Scotch Leid Week, featuring Ulster-Scots music, dance, poetry and storytelling.

The event was organised by community development organisation, Small Steps, with support from the Ulster-Scots Agency and in partnership with Council.

Among those taking part in the celebration were the Alastair Scott Ceilidh Band, Ulster-Scots storytelling and poetry recital from Steve Lalley as well as Scottish Country dancing.

Speaking at the event, Lord Mayor Councillor Ryan Murphy, said: "It's a privilege to celebrate Ulster-Scotch Leid Week at City Hall today in partnership with Small Steps.

"Belfast has a strong historical connection to the Scots heritage and it is important that as a council we celebrate the language, culture and heritage of Ulster-Scots.

"We are committed to promoting and celebrating diversity and our language strategy recognises in a real and meaningful way the cultural significance of language to communities and the importance of ensuring languages are used and nurtured for present and future generations. We look forward to supporting many more Ulster-Scots initiatives."

Karen Stewart, Director of Corporate Services at the Ulster-Scots Agency, said: "The Ulster-Scots Agency is proud to partner once again with Belfast City Council for Ulster-Scots Language Week. Working together to showcase the rich tradition of Ulster-Scots throughout the Council area and now in its fifth year, Ulster-Scots Language Week is going from strength to strength."

Drug Searches Conducted In Newtownards

Detectives from the PSNI's Paramilitary Crime Task Force (PCTF) have today, Friday 24th November carried out two searches in Newtownard, as part of an ongoing investigation into criminality linked to West Belfast UDA.

Detective Inspector Corrigan said: "Following the seizure of suspected Class B controlled drugs with an estimated street value of £22,500, officers searched two properties in the Glen Estate area of Newtownards. A quantity of suspected Class C controlled drugs, a sum of cash and a mobile phone were also seized during the proactive policing operation.

"Our enquiries remain ongoing and this morning's searches are a demonstration of the PCTF's commitment to tackle all types of criminality linked to paramilitaries, in an ongoing effort to rid our communities of the harm these groups cause.

"I would encourage anyone with information about the supply or use of illegal drugs to contact police on 101. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org/."

Alliance Condemns Those Behind Night Of Violence In Dublin

The Alliance Party's Migration, International Relations and Human Rights spokesperson Kate Nicholl has condemned scenes of violence seen on the streets of Dublin last night (23 November), and has reiterated the importance of continuing to challenge prejudice and combat intolerance.

Over thirty arrests have been made over the course of the rioting, which followed an earlier knife attack in the city centre which left four people injured. Police have since identified the mob as being driven by far-right ideology.

The South Belfast MLA has said: "The chaos and violence that played out on the streets of Dublin yesterday is both tragic and devastating.

"Today, my thoughts are with the victims of the horrific knife attack in the city centre, those who were placed in harm’s way by the rioting, and all of the brave An Garda Síochána officers who put their own personal safety on the line to protect citizens and restore peace.

"I believe that people are inherently good and decent, and that every person has value. There are however unfortunately also those that seek to create fear and divide us by any means available, and we cannot let them succeed.

"In my office much of our time is spent working with marginalised groups – people who are treated as less than because of their skin colour, their language, their disability. We also advocate for people who came to Northern Ireland to seek sanctuary. Community is our strength, and we see examples of that everywhere.

"Right now, we must be united in robust and unquestionable condemnation of all the senseless destruction seen yesterday, in support of seeing all those who perpetrated violence held accountable in the eyes of the law, and in our common humanity also.

"It is our duty going forward as political representatives to provide leadership in our communities and do all that is necessary to continue fighting intolerance and prejudice in our society, as well as the circumstances that can often lead people down those roads in the first place."

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