Irish peacekeepers mark festive period on peacekeeping duties

News from the Celtic League:

No Xmas break for the many Irish peacekeeping forces serving in a variety of roles as part of the wider UN global peacekeeping effort.

There are currently 605 Military Personnel serving in fourteen different countries around the world. The biggest troop missions are the 377 personnel serving with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the 136 personnel with the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on the Golan Heights in Syria.

They took a brief moment out to compile this montage of Xmas photos (link):

Some Manx music for Christmas

News from Mannin Branch of the Celtic League:

There’s no better to celebrate Xmas Eve and the run in to the two day holiday that this absolutely excellent series of Xmas songs from the Culture Vannin web site (link):


Public Relations Officer Mannin Branch

Issued by: The Mannin branch of the Celtic League.


Santa Claus cleared to enter Irish airspace on Christmas Eve

Santa Claus has been granted clearance to enter Irish airspace on Christmas Eve, Ireland's Transport Minister Shane Ross has said. He went on to say, "I have been informed that a large, jolly man on a low-flying sleigh, assisted by reindeer and perhaps some elves, will be entering Irish air space tomorrow evening. I would therefore encourage all children to be safety tucked up in their beds as early as possible to ensure Santa and his reindeer can go about their work successfully."

Saint Stephen's Day and the tradition of 'Hunt the Wren'

December 26th is Saint Stephen's Day. This is a day in the Christian calender that remembers Stephen who was said to have been the first Christian martyr who was stoned to death by Jewish authorities in c.34 having been accused of blasphemy. It is a day that is also celebrated by the tradition of 'Hunt the Wren', particularly in the Celtic nations of Ireland (Éire) and Isle of Man (Mannin). 

Providing vital information on avalanche, snow and conditions on the Scottish mountains

As pre-Christmas storms sweep across Scotland this year the work of rescue services on land and at sea are vital. Also an important factor on the hills and mountains of Scotland is the prediction of the conditions leading to avalanches. The Scottish Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) provides vital information every winter, giving reports on avalanche, snow, and mountain conditions for Lochaber, Glen Coe, Northern Cairngorms, Southern Cairngorms, Torridon and Creag Meagaidh.

Scotland - Historic Loch Arkaig Forest with legend of hidden treasure bought by community group

The historic 2500 acre forest of Lock Arkaig has been bought by the local community. Woodland Trust Scotland joined with Arkaig Community Forest to purchase the forest. The Woodland Trust intends to restore the forest with a programme of native tree planting. An appeal was launched to raise money towards buying the forest. Gary Servant, of Arkaig Community Forest, said: "This is a great moment. The land has been bought and we have a fantastic opportunity to work together to restore these native woodlands and to reconnect local people with their forests.

Scots Gaelic Strengthens in Heartland of Celtic Culture

The heart of the homeland of Scots Gaelic is receiving a welcome boost. Uist, an island in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, has been awarded funding for a Gaelic Cultural Centre.  The announcement was made by John Swinney, Deputy First Minister of Scotland and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills. Billed as an Arts Centre fostering Gaelic music, dance and Celtic cultural traditions, when completed the facility is expected to generate 40 jobs.

Manx Christmas Concert that remembers those interned on the Isle of Man during the First World War

A very special event is taking place to celebrate the Old Manx Christmas at 8.00pm on Friday 6 January 2017 in the intimate candlelit setting of Patrick Church on the Isle of Man (Manx: Mannin). Old Manx Christmas Concert  - Kiaull yn Nollick Veg Knockaloe  will feature Hartes Ease, a local group specializing in 16th and 17th century Renaissance music.

Saved ancient Welsh tree crowned as Tree of the Year

A giant ancient Welsh oak tree that was under threat of being felled in 2009 to make way for a road development has been crowned Tree of the Year.  The competition is run by the Woodland Trust charity. When the tree, known as The Brimmon Oak, came under threat seven years ago, local farmer Mervyn Jones on whose farm the tree stands, started a campaign to save the tree. This resulted in the Welsh Government agreeing to vary the route of the road to save the tree.


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