Monday, 27 April 2009

Ulster Scots Heritage Centre to Open

A unique tourism project created by the Monreagh Ulster-Scots Heritage Association will officially be opened on the 28th May 2009.

Located in Laggan, County Donegal, the Ulster-Scots Heritage Centre will educate present and future generations about some of the most important chapters in Ulster-Scots history.

Laggan has produced some of the Presbyterian Church’s most influential leaders including Francis Makemie who left the shores of Ireland to become the father of American Presbyterianism in 1683.

Ulster-Scots Presbyterians also played a major role in the events culminating in the Declaration of Independence in 1776, with many leading figures including Matthew Thornton and George Taylor acting as signatories of the historic document.

The tourism project was initiated by the Institute of Ulster-Scots Studies at the University of Ulster and has since been supported by the International Fund for Ireland as well as the Department of Community, Rural andMonreah Presbyterian Church Manse Gaeltacht Affairs.

Sitting opposite a Presbyterian Church whose congregation was established in 1644, the centre contains a wealth of information from the Plantation of Ulster to the inauguration of many US Presidents of Ulster-Scots descent including Andrew Jackson and Woodrow Wilson.

Housed within a beautifully restored manse, each room of the heritage centre will focus on a specific era of Ulster-Scots history through which the visitor can gain an unparalleled insight into the cultural, economic and social impact that it has had on the world today.

Part of a self-guided tour, a rarely seen collection of original photographs, paintings and other memorabilia will be on display. Visitors will also have access to a number of genealogical records to help them search for any Ulster-Scots ancestry they may possess.

The centre is planning to build a state-of-the-art annex to include a gift shop and tearoom as well as a workshop area to help keep traditional Ulster-Scots crafts, music and dance alive for future generations to come.

To learn more about what the ‘Monreagh Ulster-Scots Heritage’ centre has to offer, contact Frank Carey at the University of Ulster’s Institute of Ulster-Scots Studies on Tel: 028 7137 5569.

The centre will be opening an extensive website very soon which will be announced through UlsterHeritage.com when it is available.

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