Tag Archives: Lord Laird

Asking questions

It is always pleasing to learn that powerful folk take an interest in the humble pleasures of the proletariat. Thus, back in 2003, many a plebeian heart leapt with joy on learning that Tha Lord Laird o Artigarvan [as we say in Ulster Scots] was asking questions of Her Majesty’s Government in the House of Lords about Waterways Ireland developments on the River Shannon at Limerick, Boyle, Ballinasloe, Ballyleague, Shannonbridge and Scarriff.

Alas, it seems that Tha Lord Laird, who once had the highest expenses in Their Noble Lordships’ House, may not be asking questions in the House of Lords for some time. He resigned the Unionist whip in June; it appears that he may now be suspended from the House of Lords, whose members he esteems. It really take the biscuit.

Equal rights for Ulster Scots

I wrote about the government’s expenditure plans for the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht here. At the time, the allocation of current expenditure was not given in detail and I guessed that Waterways Ireland might (subject to the approval of the North-South Ministerial Council) be facing a cut of 5.4% in the 85% of its current budget that comes from the RoI.

A breakdown of the Budget Estimate Allocations for 2012 is now available for download (three .xlsx files). The cut in WI’s current expenditure allocation is about €1.7 million, which is 7% of the figure now given for the 2011 allocation. It is confirmed that the capital allocation is down by 25%, from €6 million to €4.5 million.

The capital allocation to Irish Language Support Schemes stands out: it is being doubled, a rise of 100%, although admittedly from only €100,000 to only €200,000. There is no allocation to Ulster Scots, alas: this absence of parity of esteem may distress Tha Lord Laird o Artigarvan.