Chuir Gaeil Ard Mhacha aithne ar Ghaeil Oirthear Bhéal Feirste ar na mallaibh nuair a thug Linda Ervine, Oifigeach Gaeilge le Misean Oirthear Bhéal Feirste, cuairt ar an chathair. Tá Linda freagrach as cur chun cinn na Gaeilge ar Bhóthar Bhaile Nua na hArda agus i measc na n-imeachtaí a eagraíonn sí, bíonn ranganna Gaeilge ann, dianchúrsaí, seisiúin feasachta ar an Ghaeilge, drámaí i nGaeilge, ceolchoirmeacha Gaeilge agus traidisiúnta. Chomh maith leis sin, bíonn Linda ag taisteal thart ar an tír ag iarraidh a chur in iúl do ghrúpaí pobail, cultúir agus creidimh, do scoileanna agus do chomhairlí nach bhfuil aon bhagairt sa Ghaeilge do phobal ar bith, go háirithe don phobal dílseach agus don phobal protastúnach.
Bhí Linda in Ard Mhacha le labhairt ar Stair na bProtastúnach agus an Ghaeilge do dhaltaí Choláiste Phádraig agus do na daltaí ag ranganna Gaeilge CAIRDE Teo. Labhair Linda faoin suim a bhí aici féin sa teanga agus gur fhoghlaim sí go raibh Gaeilge ag seanthuismitheoirí a fhir chéile, Brian. Is deartháir é Brian leis an cheannaire dílseach David Ervine nach maireann. Is léir go ndeachaigh a raibh le rá aici i bhfeidhm go mór ar mhuintir Ard Mhacha agus tá cuireadh faighte aici ó chomhairleoir in Ard Mhacha teacht ar ais cheana féin.
The Gaels of Armagh recently became aquainted with the Irish speakers of East Belfast when Linda Ervine, Irish language Officer with East Belfast Mission, visited the cathedral city. Linda is responsible for the promotion of the Irish language on the Newtownards Road and she has organised many events including Irish language classes, intensive courses, awareness sessions, Irish language dramas and concerts. As well as that, Linda also travels throughout Ireland to speak to community, cultural and religious groups, to schools and to councils to reinforce the point that the Irish language is not a threat to any community, particularly the loyalist and protestant communities, who may have formerly had their reservations about the language.
Linda visited Armagh to speak to Irish language students in St Patrick’s Grammar School Armagh on the subject of the Hidden History of Protestants and the Irish Language. Linda also spoke to the students who attend the Irish language evening classes, which are organised by CAIRDE Teo in St Catherine’s College on Wednesday evenings. Linda spoke of her interest in the language and about findng out that her husband’s grandparents were Irish speakers. Linda is married to Brian Ervine, brother of the late loyalist leader David. Linda made reference to a number of prominent Protestant Irish speakers throughout the ages, including a former Grand Master of the Orange Order, and the numerous Irish langauge placenames throughout the island. The presentation was very well received by the two groups, so much so that Linda has already received an invitation from one of Armagh’s councillors to come back to the city to address the council.