Lisburn Councillor Robbie Butler has called on the entire pro-Union community in Lagan Valley to “remember its Ulster Covenant culture with pride”.
Councillor Butler, speaking about how Unionists in Lagan Valley should continue to mark the 1912 signing of the Ulster Solemn League and Covenant, said: “It was Mahatma Gandhi who said a nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.
“Nobody can deny or even question that we, the members of the Ulster Unionist Party are the Party of Carson, Craig and Crawford.
“No-one can deny that the Unionists of Ulster, have a deep and abiding link to our history and culture.
“No-one can deny that our forefathers took that culture throughout the old world and the new world.
“No-one can deny that through our culture we continue to take a stand for civil and religious liberty.
“That is why I am proud and humbled to be an Ulster Unionist Party councillor.
“Our cultural identity is an important aspect of our make-up,and it is in that respect, our Ulster Scots heritage, culture and language is something that our enemies continue to attack and starve of resources.
“Those who attack our culture do so because they seek to replace it with another, irrespective of cost or consequence.
“That is why we will oppose the implementation of an unnecessary Irish language Act.
“Irish language legislation would be costly, especially within the context of the current economic climate, and overtly divisive.
“When any Sinn Fein Minister would say ‘Irish language activists are taxpayers too’, I say - Minister, so are the rest of us! Where is our parity of esteem?
“My advice to the pro-Union community of Lagan Valley is loud and clear – if there are any future consultations on Irish and Ulster Scots strategies, make sure your voices are heard.”