Alastair Kneale's blog

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.

Kaneen Bursary scheme for young fluent speakers of Manx Gaelic

Media release from Culture Vannin

Kaneen Bursary scheme for young fluent speakers of Manx Gaelic

Culture Vannin is delighted to announce its 2017 bursary scheme for young fluent speakers of Manx between the ages of 18 and 25 that will enable them to attend a summer school in Irish language and culture run by Oideas Gael in Donegal this summer. Two bursaries will be available which will cover travel and accommodation costs to the selected summer school.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan - Turkey's elected dictator who accuses everyone else of being a fascist

Turkish President Erdoğan is becoming increasingly dictatorial. Ever since being elected he has worked to trample on Turkish democratic rights, consolidate his powers and promote his Islamic agenda. Turkey’s remaining secular and democratic pillars, established by the Republic of Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1923, are being dismantled. Erdoğan's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party have pushed through a referendum, to be held in April, that if successful will pool power in the hands of the president and dramatically reduce his accountability to parliament.

John Surtees: Isle of Man TT legend dies at 83

John Surtees (11 February 1934 – 10 March 2017) has died in hospital at the age of 83. John Surtees will always hold a special place in the history of the Isle of Man TT. Seen as the greatest motorcyle race in the world, the Isle of Man TT provides the ultimate test for competitors and machines alike. The International Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) Race was first held on the Island in 1907.

Oil Spill Latest - IMO needs to probe vessels collision

News from the Celtic League:

It seems the oil spill following a collision between a Manx registered vessel and another ship off Chennai India is much worse than earlier thought,

The spill which we reported on earlier is now polluting 24km of coastline and the pictures of the shoreline pollution show this is a major incident.

Damage to marine life is likely to be extensive not just from the pollution but from the chemicals used to tackle the thick oil slick which is creeping inexorably along the coast.

Spain puts Catalan freedom on trial

The government of Catalonia has vowed to continue with its plans to secure its independence from Spain.  This come as ex-President of Catalonia Artur Mas is put on trial by Spain accused of criminal disobedience for holding a symbolic independence referendum in Catalonia in 2014. Artur Mas, who governed Catalonia from 2010 to 2016, will appear at the high court in Barcelona on Monday (06/02/17) along with former vice-president Joana Ortega and former education minister Irene Rigau. 

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