Alastair Kneale's blog

Manx Language Renaissance

The Manx Language continues to prosper and experience a growing revival. As reported in the on-line BBC News Magazine on 31st January 2013. There is an increased use in the numbers speaking Manx Gaelic, which is closely linked to Irish and Scottish Gaelic. This remarkable growth is also reflected in the road signage, mobile phone apps, broadcasts on Manx Radio and novels. The language declined significantly from the mid-nineteenth century when economic depression resulted in emigration. Many parents thought that just encouraging their children to speak English would help their job chances abroad. This was combined with the prevention of speaking the native tongue in schools at that time.

Manx Government tackles Ash Dieback Disease

Ash Dieback Disease (Cholera fraxinus) has been caused major problems in the west of continental Europe where it has killed something like 90% of the trees infected. Unfortunately, it has spread to parts of the United Kingdom and Eire and increasing numbers of trees have been infected.  It is spread by the wind via fungal spores. The spores can travel up to something like 30-40km from area to area. Its spread to Eire and UK seems to have resulted from human spread of trees and plant material.

Scottish Government boost Gaelic School

Scottish Gaelic received a boost when £3 million pounds additional funding was awarded to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig from the Scottish Government. The Sabhal Mòr Ostaig  college on the Isle of Skye is noted for excellence and is celebrating its fortieth anniversary in 2013. This money will be put towards expanding its campus and is part of £205 million pounds in infrastructure development for the college announced by John Swinney, Finance Secretary and Scottish National Party Member of the Scottish Parliament.

Cornish flag flies proudly on Isle of Man

Cornish and Manx flags

One of the major features of Laxey on the Isle of Man is the Laxey Wheel, which is also known as Lady Isabella. It is the largest working water wheel in the world, with a circumference of 210ft 6ins, diameter 74ft 6ins and a width of 6ft. Built in 1854 it was used to pump water out of part of the Laxey lead, zinc, copper and silver mines.

Dublin, Ireland - journey from Douglas, Isle of Man

Follow's Alastair Kneale as he travels from Douglas, Isle of Man, to Dublin, Ireland, and back. 

Watch a slideshow of the trip


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