Alastair Kneale's blog

Australian Celtic Festival 4 - 7 May 2017 celebrates Ireland

The Australian Celtic Festival takes place every year. Crowds flock to the New South Wales town of Glen Innes in a celebration of the music, song, dance and culture of all the Celtic Nations. The Festival attracts clans, cultural groups, dancers and performers from around Australia and beyond.

Press freedom under serious threat around the world

A truly free and independent press is a vital component of any healthy democratic society. The need for transparency and for those who wield governmental and corporate power to be held accountable is vital. The annual briefing by Reporters Without Borders, has pointed out that press freedom has never been as threatened as it is now. Based in Paris, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is an independent NGO with consultative status with the United Nations, UNESCO, the Council of Europe and the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF).

Department of the Gaeltacht Occupied by MISNEACH

News from Irish Branch of the Celtic League:

Members of the radical Irish language group MISNEACH occupied the Department of the Gaeltacht on Kildare Street, Dublin on 12th April. After figures published in the census last week revealed a dramatic fall in the number of daily speakers of Irish in the Gaeltacht between 2011-2016 the group is demanding a fundamental shift in the approach of the State to our national language.

Referring to the fall in numbers, a spokesperson for MISNEACH said:

Horses put down after military jets incident

News from the Celtic League:

‘Low flying military aircraft…does not just cause death or injury to the animals but also can lead to the deaths of horse riders’.

A number of horses had to be put down following an incident involving low flying United States Air Force jets in Cornwall (see link):…/story-30270897-det…/story.html

Launch of new set of Manx coins

The first new set of Isle of Man (Mannin) coins for 13 years has been launched by the Manx Treasury. The Treasury (Manx: Yn Tashtey) of the Isle of Man is the finance department of the Isle of Man Government (Manx: Reiltys Ellan Vannin). The set of seven includes a new version of the five-pound coin, which was first introduced on the island in 1981.

Manx poet and playwright "Cushag" and the fairy power of the national flower of the Isle of Man

Josephine Kermode (18 September 1852 - 15 February 1937) was a Manx poet and playwright better known by the pen name "Cushag". Cushag was a name that she was known within her family. The Cushag, is the national flower of the Isle of Man and is also known as Ragwort. According to legend, King Orry who was the Norse-Gaelic ruler Godred Crovan (died 1095), chose as his emblem the cushag flower.

Celtic Media Festival Programme 3 - 5 May 2017

The Celtic Media Festival, is an annual three-day celebration of broadcasting and film from Alba (Scotland), Éire (Ireland), Cymru (Wales), Mannin (Isle of Man), Kernow (Cornwall) and Breizh (Brittany).  The festival aims to promote the languages and cultures of the Celtic nations in film, television, radio and new media. The festival has existed for nearly forty years and hosted in turn in different of the Celtic nations. This years event is being held on Mannin (Isle of Man) on the 3 - 5 May. The Torc Awards are presented to the winners in various categories.

The Manx and never using the three-letter "r" word for vermin

There is no shortage of superstitions on the Isle of Man. One of them is that if you are Manx, you do not use the word - RAT (I am touching wood as I write this)! People from the Isle of Man are deeply superstitious about using the three-letter "r" word for vermin. I am the same and like any self-respecting Manxman I use other terms, such as the native Gaelic word "roddan", or maybe "longtail" and "ringie". The origins of the superstition are not clear, but many think it began with fishermen and their loathing of the animal.

Direct flights between the Isle of Man and Edinburgh announced

The Scottish regional airline Loganair has 29 destinations including the to the Hebrides, Orkneys, Republic of Ireland and Norway. Now the airline has announced that it will be starting direct flights between the Isle of Man and the Scottish capital Edinburgh in May.  Managing director Jonathan Hinkles said: "Our new Edinburgh service will provide much-needed weekend flights between Scotland and the island." The new service between the two Celtic nations will operate up to four flights each week during the summer and two throughout the winter season.

Schoolchildren from Brittany among victims of terrorist atrocity in London

More news of the victims is being revealed after the major terrorist act which took place outside the British Parliament yesterday. So far it is known that four people have died, including a policeman and the attacker. The police officer was identified as 48-year-old PC Keith Palmer. Another victim was named as Aysha Frade, 43, a mother-of-two who had family in Betanzos, Galicia, in north-west Spain and who worked as a teacher in London.


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