MLAs in Protestant CoC13 inclusion call

TUV leader Jim Allister
TUV leader Jim Allister

UNIONIST MLAs have sought assurances from Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín that Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013 will not be a cold house for Protestants.

DUP MLA Peter Weir asked the Minister if she would be able to ensure that Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013 will ‘embrace all communities.’

And Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) MLA Jim Allister specifically asked how events would ‘include and reflect the Protestant minority community and culture in the city.’

Ms Ní Chuilín replied: “A number of particular events are aimed specifically at the Protestant community - for example the Plantation Exhibition in the Guildhall, the Siege pageant and the All Ireland Pipe Band Championships and European Highland Dance Championships - however members of all communities are welcome at all City of Culture events.”

She also referred events specifically aimed at engaging ‘all communities.’

These include: “the Portrait of a City photography project, the Schools Programme and the Spotlight on Communities project.”

However, the Minister once again stressed that members of all communities are welcome at all the events throughout the year.

She also claimed that the Londonderry 2013 Culture Company had broadly consulted on its programme.

The Minister said Culture company “has been working closely with all communities across the city and has undertaken consultation at community level with over 100 organisations.

“This engagement has involved discussions around the events, organisation and legacy of the project to ensure that 2013 Derry City of Culture is owned and enjoyed by all communities in the city.

“A Cultural Programme has been developed by the Culture Company. It includes 140 events and activities, ranging from major international events to community based activities, and has been specifically designed to appeal to all members of the local community and particularly those who would not normally attend arts and cultural events.”