Douglas MacQueen's blog

Mystery of the Ballachulish Goddess

The sea loch of Loch Leven (Scottish Gaelic: Loch Liobhann) is located on the west coast of Scotland. It extends for nearly nine miles and at its western end flows into Camus a' Chois, part of Loch Linnhe at North Ballachulish. Loch Linnhe is a beautiful part of Scotland, known for its fantastic scenery and sunsets. The area has a rich history with a number of Bronze Age burial sites in the vicinity. These archaeological sites point to this as a place of ritual importance that was used for special ceremonial purposes in the third and second millennia BC.

Screenplay Film Festival 2017 gets underway in Shetland on Friday

This Friday August 25th sees the start of the annual Screenplay Film Festival in Shetland which runs until September 3rd. The festival is celebrated at various venues across the islands. It features more than 80 screenings along with lectures and panel discussions involving national and international film industry professionals and film academics. The Festival also has strong local flavour and will be supporting emerging Shetland film-makers as well as encouraging the involvement of the community in the ten day event.

Descendants of Highland Clearance to buy back land in Sutherland

The physical scars of the Highland Clearances of the 18th and 19th century remain to this day and abandoned hillside settlements can still be seen. They are a notorious part of Scottish history with tens of thousands of men, women and children cruelly and violently evicted from their homes. Property was set on fire, even murder was committed and terrible famine and extreme poverty ensued. The Clearances began in the late 18th century and carried on in separate phases well into the 19th century.

Wind farm development in Firth of Forth and Firth of Tay is threat to seabird colonies say RSPB Scotland

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB Scotland) is a charitable organisation that works to promote conservation and protection of birds and the wider environment. They have been objecting to the Scottish Government decision in 2014 to give consent for four major wind farms in the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Tay.

World Pipe Band Championship 2017 winners crowned in Glasgow

This weekend saw 219 bands with 8,000 pipers from 15 nations take park in the World Pipe Band Championships in the Scottish city of Glasgow (Scottish Gaelic: Glaschu). The contest is now in its 70th year and some 35,000 people attended the two-day event. The Scottish Inveraray and District Pipe Band won the Grade 1 contest, beating Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band from the north of Ireland into second place and St Laurence O’Toole Pipe Band from Dublin who came third. Organisers gave thanks to every one who played, competed and came to support and watch the Championship.

New Scottish banknote features mathematician and astronomer Mary Somerville

The Royal Bank of Scotland is to issue its first polymer £10 note to the public on 4 October this year. It is to feature images of Scottish mathematician and astronomer Mary Somerville, her hometown of Burntisland in Fife, and two otters. Mary Fairfax Somerville (26 December 1780 – 29 November 1872) was a Scottish mathematician, geographer and astronomer, who was born in 1780 in Jedburgh but her childhood home was at Burntisland in Fife. When she died in 1872, Mary Somerville was hailed by The Morning Post as "The Queen of Nineteenth-Century Science".

The mystery of Scotland’s Dùn Deardail hillfort

Standing on a rocky knoll on Sgorr Chalum, Dùn Deardail is an Iron Age hillfort above the River Nevis in Glen Nevis. Located at a height of 1,127 ft (347m) Dùn Deardail is overlooked by the mountain of Ben Nevis (Scottish Gaelic: Beinn Nibheis) and is thought to have been constructed by the Celts in the first millennium BC (1000 BC to 1BC). The fort is associated with Deirdrê of the Sorrows, the tragic heroine in Irish pre-Christian legend, whose story is told in the ancient Irish mythology of the Ulster Cycle.

Scottish Gaelic language needs to be awarded Unesco status

As reported in a recent article in the Scottish newspaper The Press and Journal on the call for Scottish Gaelic to be granted Unesco status: 

Scotland: Nuclear protesters imprisonment condemned

News item from YN COMMMEEYS CELTIAGH - CELTIC NEWS MANNIN about the imprisonment of two protesters at the Faslane nuclear base in Scotland.

'Nuclear protesters imprisonment condemned'

A resolution adopted at the AGM of the Celtic League this weekend (held on the Isle of Man) condemned the imprisonment of two protesters is Scotland on charges related to disrupting the movement and storage of nuclear warheads at the Faslane Nuclear base. The protesters have since been released.

Archaeologists battle against time to uncover hidden truth on Scottish island of Rousay in Orkney

Orkney (Scottish Gaelic: Arcaibh), is an archipelago situated off the north coast of Scotland. Orkney comprises of approximately 70 islands, 20 of which are inhabited. The islands have been inhabited for over 8500 years. Originally occupied by Mesolithic and Neolithic people and then by their descendants the Picts. Orkney was settled by the Norse and came under the control of Norway in 875 before being annexed by the Kingdom of Scotland in 1472. 


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