In a shared and better future our diverse cultural traditions must be treated on a basis of equity and that can be applied in several areas, which I call the four Rs – recognition, respect, resources and representation.
Where public resources are being allocated, then each of our cultural traditions should be treated on the basis of equity and this is about more than money. As well as public funding it is about such things as access to the media and inclusion in the education system because education and the media are especially important in affirming and promoting cultural traditions.
Apart from the Twelfth broadcasts on television, when is Orange culture reflected in the media? For example, when did the BBC or UTV last produce or broadcast a documentary on the painting of Orange banners? Orange culture is confined to one day in the year, with the coverage of the annual Twelfth celebrations. Yet Gaelic games, which reinforce and validate a Gaelic identity, receive substantial coverage week by week throughout the year. The Twelfth broadcast has the highest viewing figure of any produced locally by the BBC and there is clearly a large potential audience for such programmes.