Book Tickets

Walking Off The Land

‘Walking Off The Land’ brought together Ulster Scots and Irish on the same platform, and explored the many dialects of the nine counties of Ulster.

As part of our exploration of the 'Languages of Ulster', we held an event in 2022 called 'Walking Off The Land'.

Poets Anne McMaster, Sacha White, and Scott McKendry read their work, while musicians Kate Barry, Joshua Burnside, Myles McCormack (The Nightingale Singing Sessions), with Miadhachlughain O’Donnell, led attendees in song.

Taking from this essence of place, this event evoked the sights and sounds of Ulster. The themes of the poetry read and the tunes played touched on Ulster’s industrial past, its roots in the landscape and its challenging political history. ‘Walking Off The Land’, took its name from an Ulster Scots tradition of walking the deceased around the boundary of their land. 

The event was captured and produced by RE-ACT Productions.

A divided mem’ry o’ wor miraculous days. Oor gloamins an’ the scraich o’day. Our precious lives. Soil in our veins. Aa’ else is bye an’ still. / Quaitly, an’ wi’ love, we waak each coffin o’ tha lan.

'Walking Off The Land', Anne McMaster

Published in English: Walking Off the Land - Collected Poems. Hedgehog Poetry Press, 2021

Anne McMaster

Anne McMaster found her poetry reignited through her connection to Ulster Scots after the passing of loved ones. Here, she reads a selection of poems from her collection ‘Walking Off The Land’. These works give us glimpses into rural life from a little girl witnessing a disappearing way of life, to a now mature woman and her reflections. The poem from which her collection and our event took its name, 'Walking Off the Land', is a reflection of an old Ulster-Scots tradition of walking the coffin of a deceased loved one around their land before burial. 

The Nightingale Singing Sessions

with Miadhachlughain O’Donnell

The Nightingale Singing Sessions are monthly song gatherings at the historic American Bar in Sailortown. Founded by musicians Kate Barry, Joshua Burnside and Myles McCormac, the trio welcome all to sing, or to simply listen to the range of Irish songs that reflect on the nostalgia of emigrating, the loss of a loved one, or the simple task of naming a baby. For ‘Walking Off The Land’, Kate arranged a series of tracks synonymous to the Ulster tradition.  

Weaving together the Irish language and its deep relationship to Ulster, Miadhachlughain O’Donnell developed a unique arrangements to the well-known song ‘Siúil a Rún’ (Go, my love), which switches between Gaeilge and English. This use and play of the two languages helps to understand its interdependency in building the unique identity of Ulster.