Communities Minister Lyons establishes US/NI Cultural Working Group

Communities Minister Gordon Lyons has announced the establishment of the ‘United States/Northern Ireland Cultural Working Group’. The Group, led by the Department for Communities, aims to promote new opportunities through a programme of cultural engagement in both the United States and Northern Ireland.

By Gordon Lyons MLA

East Antrim

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Speaking at the inaugural meeting of the Group this week, Minister Lyons said: “I am looking forward to the cultural and economic opportunities that exist to promote a greater understanding of the links between Northern Ireland and the United States. It is fascinating to look at the significant role early settlers from Northern Ireland played in communities across the United States and how Ulster-Scots continues to shape the traditions and values of the United States of today. This Group will play an important role to raise awareness of this influence on culture, music and society.”

The Group is made up of representatives from key agencies in Northern Ireland and in the United States, including the Northern Ireland Bureau, the Department for Communities, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), The Executive Office, North South Ministerial Council, the Ulster-Scots Agency, Northern Irish Connections (InvestNI), Tourism Ireland and Tourism NI.

The Minister referred to the upcoming 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, commenting: “2026 is a very important milestone and represents a unique opportunity to build on the common heritage that exists and the contribution that people from here have made in shaping the United States of America. I am confident that through promoting and raising awareness of Northern Ireland’s unique cultural and heritage offering, we will encourage more people and groups from the United States to visit Northern Ireland and learn more about their shared heritage.”

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