The connections between Ulster and western Scotland, and in particular between County Antrim and Argyll and Kintyre, can be traced back millennia and are reflected in many different ways. The Ulster Historical Foundation was commissioned by the Ministerial Advisory Group – Ulster Scots Academy to research a number of aspects of the relationship between Antrim and Argyll over the millennia. The project brought together scholars in a range of disciplines in both Northern Ireland and Scotland, and the initial research was carried out in 2014–15. Subsequently, the Department for Communities provided additional support to allow this research to be published as Antrim and Argyll: Some Aspects of the Connections (2018), edited by William Roulston.

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The essays in this book explore and reflect on a number these links, including archaeology, history, musicology and linguistics. In their chapter, Dr Róise Ní Bhaoill and Aodán Mac Póilin explored the Gaelic links between Antrim and Argyll, looking at linguistic and literary connections, as well as the evidence of surnames, place-names, folklore and mythology. In two substantial chapters Dr Cormac McSparron examined the archaeological and historical evidence for contact between Antrim and Argyll from the Prehistoric period to the Early Medieval period. The musical connections between Antrim and Argyll were the subject of Stuart Eydmann’s chapter. Finally, Dr Eric Graham explored the fascinating connections between Argyllshire emigrants to North Carolina and Antrim flaxseed traders.