Alastair Kneale's blog

Mec Vannin acknowledge Martin McGuinness role in peace process

News from Mannin Branch of The Celtic League:

Following the retirement of the Deputy First Minister of the Stormont government the Manx Nationalist Party has written to him to acknowledge his role in bringing stability to the North of Ireland after the troubles.

Martin McGuinness was pivotal in ensuring the process was successful and also built an unlikely working relationship and friendship with the DUP’s Ian Paisley who was First Minister for many years.

The text of the Mec Vannin letter is set out below:

Celtic League: Articles Sought for Publication in Carn

News from the Celtic League:

Contributions are currently being sought for the next issue of Carn (#167). 

Carn is the Celtic League’s longest running publication and was originally launched in 1973. The 24 page long publication is currently only available in hard copy format and is produced three times a year. It is regarded as an educational magazine and provides news articles and in-depth analysis of issues from an alternative perspective relevant to people in the Celtic countries 

Mannin - Sophia Morrison Centenary - 'Went The Day Well'

News from Mannin Branch of the Celtic League:

The Centenary celebration for Sophia Morrison today got of to a very good start with a wreath laying at Peel Cemetery at the grave of the great Manx figure. Even the weather smiled on the day with the midday rain abating just ahead of the event.

I spoke briefly about the need for us to not simply record our appreciation of Ms Morrison’s work but also the work of those she subsequently inspired and continues to inspire.

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.


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). 

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.

Illiam Dhône Commemoration 2017 - Mannin (Isle of Man)

This year's Illiam Dhône commemoration starts at 2pm on 2nd January 2017. It is held annually at Hango Hill which is close to the location at which Manx National hero Illiam Dhône was shot on 2nd January 1663 for his part in the Manx Rising of 1651. In heading the Manx Rising Illiam Dhône was clearly motivated to act in the best interests of the Manx people and his Celtic homeland. 

Celebrating the life of Sophia Morrison champion of Manx culture

Sophia Morrison (24 May 1859 – 14 January 1917) was a Manx cultural activist, folklore collector and author. She was a founder member of Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh (The Manx Language Society) and played an important role in the Celtic revival in her Manx homeland and throughout the Celtic world.  She was an enthusiastic collector and recorder of all things related to Manx culture, including the island's ancient Gaelic language, its folklore, tales and music. In doing so this great patriot did not view her work as just a means to preserve the past.

Super trawler off Donegal a mystery no AIS for two days

News from the Celtic League:

Having established that the world’s largest trawler the Annelies Ilena was operating west of the Faroe Islands near an MPA we decided to check the whereabouts of another brute of the sea the Margiris:

The're still at it - we track super trawler near Marine Protected Area

News from the Celtic League:

With the recent broadcast of the documentary ‘Atlantic’ on RTE attracting considerable interest we decided to take time to check on some of the really large super trawlers such as the Annelies Ilena and sure enough its active in the North Atlantic to the west of the Faroe Islands.

Interestingly having traced its fishing pattern we find that it is trawling around what’s called the ‘Faroe - Shetland Sponge Belt’ which just happens to be a Marine Protected Area.

Here’s the description:

“Faroe-Shetland Sponge Belt MPA


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