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Pan Celtic Festival Coming to Derry, Ireland in 2014

An Fhéile Phan Cheilteach (the Pan Celtic Festival) will be hosted in the City of Derry (Doire) in 2014. The festival, which brings visitors from all over Ireland as well as the other Celtic nations will be visiting Derry, in the north of Ireland for the first time.

The Irish Language Revival In Northern Ireland

Multiple press reports are citing the growing strength of the Irish tongue in Northern Ireland.  In the latest example of the Gaelic resurgence in this at times troubled part of the Celtic Homelands is the opening of a new Irish Centre in East Belfast.  The headlines accompanying the articles on the newly opened centre of Gaelic instruction, which has received unusual recognition given the size of the new facility, may reveal more about the symbolic significance of the event than the details of the opening of the Irish Language venue at the Skainos Centre in East Belfast.

Supermarket Pharmacy Condemned for Discrimination Against Welsh Speakers

Welsh politicians and Meri Hughes, the Language Commissioner in Wales have condemned an incident of blatant and dangerous discrimination against the Welsh speaking community. This was after the disgraceful actions by Morrisons Supermarket pharmacy counter in Bangor, north Wales, who refused to provide medication for a one year old baby because the prescription was written in both Welsh and English.

Book Review: "The M Room: Secret Listeners who Bugged the Nazis"

The M Room

This is the remarkable story of the German émigrés who fled Hitler’s regime and became secret listeners for British Intelligence during World War II, brought vividly to life with the assistance of a former internee on the Isle of Man: Fritz Lustig.

Working from Latimer House and Wilton Park in England, Fritz Lustig and his colleagues (together with other secret listeners at Trent Park) bugged the conversations of over 10,000 prisoners of war, ranging from U-boat crews and Luftwaffe pilots to high-ranking German generals, in their fight to secure intelligence information to win the war.

These transcripts remained classified until 1999 but the tireless efforts of the book’s author, Helen Fry, now reveal how the work of Fritz Lustig and his colleagues was as important as those cracking the Enigma Code at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire.

Remembering the Solway Harvester

The storms that have battered the coasts around Brittany, Cornwall, Wales, Ireland, Isle of Man and Scotland over recent weeks have caused considerable damage. Our thoughts go out to all those affected by the atrocious conditions. It also brings into focus the perils faced by those whose livelihood depend upon fishing off our Celtic coasts.

News From Celtic League - Illiam Dhome Commemoration 2014

This news in from the Celtic League:

Illiam Dhome Commemoration 2014

News From Celtic League

The Illiam Dhome commemoration took place last week (2nd January 2014) in Mannin/Isle of Man.

Paris With a Wary Eye on Brittany - 2 Billion Euros pledged to the "Restive Province"

The French news Site RFI reported last month that the French Government have pledged 2 Billion Euro to Brittany ostensibly as economic aid. The article describes the governments "Pact For the Future Of Brittany": "The government's Pact for the Future of Brittany promises 2 Billion Euros in aid to help workers declared redundant, restructure agricultural to make it more environmentally friendly and boost the region's economy."  The governments plan has met with mixed reaction from Brittany's trade movement groups and the Breton assembly barely approved with stiff opposition: "...right wing and centrist MPs and councillors opposed the Pact and boycotted the signing ceremony."

Commemoration of Illiam Dhone's Execution

Bernie Moffatt, Celtic League/Mec Vannin

A brisk wind whistled through the site of Hango Hill as a crowd gathered in the winter sunshine to commemorate the execution of Illiam Dhone of Ronaldsway on the 2nd January, 1663, for his part in the Manx rising of 1651 against the Derby family. Although a Royal pardon was dispatched it arrived too late to save him from execution.

Believed to be an prehistoric burial ground with an artificial mound, the name Hango Hill is derived from the Norse hanga-haugr, meaning Gallow's Hill, but was renamed Mount Strange by the Derby family in honour of the Derby heir Lord Strange. The poignant remains are that of a castellated summerhouse built on the site during the late seventeenth century.

The event is a joint effort between the Manx branch of the Celtic League and the Manx Republican Nationalist Party Mec Vannin.

Following an introduction by Bernie Moffatt (Celtic League/Mec Vannin), the Manx oration was given by Mark Kermode (Mec Vannin) and that in English by Bill Henderson MHK (North Douglas) followed by a brief wreath-laying ceremony and a remembrance of some important players in the arena of Manx culture and language.

Whiskey Fueled Celtic Rock - The Kilmaine Saints and the Celtic Renaissance - Interview With Michael McNaughton

"The music is in our blood when we perform, in our hearts when we write it and in our heads when we sleep." - Mike McNaughton

A focus at Transceltic this year will be the resurgence of Celtic Identity in North America and surge in attendance at Celtic festivals.  We caught up with Mike McNaughton, drummer for the Kilmaine Saints, an American Celtic Rock band who are popular on the festival circuit. The Kilmaine Saints were started in 2009 by a few members of the Lochiel Emerald Society Pipes and Drums (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) and were joined by a classicly trained fiddler and a singer from Ireland's County Mayo. Since then the band have have enjoyed major success playing the growing number of Celtic Festivals in the United States. 

Welsh Language Commissioner Meri Huws: "Time Is Now For a Welsh Way of Drafting Laws"

The Welsh Language Commissioner Meri Huws is quoted in an article on the web site "Daily Post" calling for a more rigorous application of the spirit of the "Welsh Language (Wales) Measure of 2011" in drafting legislation and policy. The 2011 Measure confirmed the status of Welsh as an official Language in Wales. Under the 2011 Act, Huws was appointed as the first Welsh language Commissioner. In the Daily Post article the Language Commissioner is quoted as follows: "It is now time for the Welsh Government to develop a 'rigorously Welsh way' of drafting laws.

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