"Heid" [Heed] Meaning: Head
Less than six miles from the sandy beach at Rossnowlagh in County Donegal stands Cully Orange Hall, the home base of Moyne Ulster-Scots.
The group, founded in 2004, has established itself around Moyne Pipe Band but has extended far beyond Donegal and its windswept beaches. Scott McElhinney, a local farmer, is the driving force behind Moyne Ulster-Scots. In addition to the Pipe Band, the group have excelled at Highland Dance. Dance classes are held weekly in Cully Orange Hall and over the last number of years Sollus School of Highland Dance in County Tyrone have been a great help in supporting the group. Dancers from Moyne are successfully competing at Highland Dance Competitions throughout Ulster with four dancers planning to participate in the forthcoming Edinburgh Tattoo.
The group have also organised the annual Donegal Highland Dance Competition, based in the Parish Hall in Laghey. This annual competition is the only Highland Dance competition in the Republic of Ireland and competitors travel from across Northern Ireland to compete for an array of silverware.
In addition to Highland Dance classes the group have secured funding for Piping and Drumming classes turning Cully Orange Hall into a hive of activity and providing young people with the opportunity to learn, participate and value their culture and heritage.
Moyne Ulster-Scots have also run a very successful annual Summer School for Primary School children. They have also worked in partnership with the Ulster-Scots Community Network in the delivery of an outreach programme funded by Donegal County Council Peace III Taskforce.
Scott McElhinney and his band of volunteers have over the last six years brought to life the rich Ulster-Scots heritage which has existed in this part of Donegal for generations. Just down the road from Cully Orange Hall is Rathneey Presbyterian Church dating back to the 1670’s.
This part of Donegal may be geographically far way form the Ulster-Scots heartlands of Antrim and Down but in Moyne, Ulster-Scots is a vibrant Ulster-Scots group who are playing a vital role in the revival of the Ulster-Scots movement in Ulster.