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Burns Week event takes place at City Hall

Date: 27 Jan 2023

Lord Mayor with actor Christopher Tait and Gillian Parsons, Ulster Scots Agency

Local primary schoolchildren were among guests at a special event in City Hall today to mark Burns Week.

The week runs from Monday 23 to Sunday 29 January and celebrates the life and poetry of Scottish poet Robert ‘Rabbie’ Burns.

The Burns Celebration was organised by the Ulster-Scots Agency in partnership with Belfast City Council.

Actor Christopher Tait performed at the event as the man himself and there was storytelling by writer Steve Lally.

Welcoming everyone to the event, Lord Mayor Councillor Tina Black said: “We’re delighted to host the Burns Celebration in City Hall today, in partnership with the Ulster-Scots Agency.

“Belfast has a strong historical connection to Ulster-Scots, with the city also having a unique relationship with Robert ‘Rabbie’ Burns. It was the first place outside Scotland where his work was published and was home to members of his family and close friends.

“One of the world’s oldest Burns clubs – the Belfast Burns Club - was also established 151 years ago and Belfast is home of the largest collection of Burns material in the world outside Scotland, which is held at the Linen Hall Library.

“As part of the council’s language strategy, we are committed to promoting the diversity of language that exists across the city, including the Ulster-Scots language, culture and heritage,” she added.

Ulster-Scots Agency Director of Development Gillian Parson, said: “Our Burns Celebration is the highlight of a week-long programme of events to highlight Ulster’s enduring affection for Robert Burns and his strong ties to us, which ensure that 200 years after his life, the connection is as strong as ever.

“The Ulster-Scots Agency is delighted to work in partnership with Belfast City Council on this event. Today, we welcomed 400 children from schools located in Belfast and Newtownards to Belfast City Hall to learn more about the life and legacy of Robert Burns, which continues to be celebrated for auld lang syne.”

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