Douglas MacQueen's blog

Scotland has one of the highest concentrations of land ownership in Europe

The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 is an Act of the Scottish Parliament which continues the process of land reform in Scotland following the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015. Established under the Land reform Act is the Scottish Land Commission (SLC), which came into being on 1 April 2017. A study into who owns Scotland's land and the impact that has on the people who live there is to be carried out by the SLC. Scotland has one of the highest concentrations of land ownership in Europe.

Nations seek to control their own destinies

Yn Commeeys Celtiagh - Celtic News Mannin point out that it is not only Catalonia that will be voting for self determination in the next two weeks but also Iraqi Kurdistan. Both represent wider global movements where men and women are seeking the right to determine their own future and not be controlled by other states:


Scottish Government supports referendum on independence for Catalonia

The government of Scotland has made a clear statement of support for the Catalan people to have the right to vote for their independence from Spain. Catalonia has its own democratically elected parliament, which is in charge of a great number of its own affairs. The Catalan parliament has voted to hold a referendum on independence from Spain. The vote is supported by the Catalan President and the Catalan government and a referendum is to be held on 1st October 2017.

Scotland - Loch Fleet Tyrants And Tragedy

In this article by Allen Moore, Environmental Officer, for the Celtic League Mannin Branch, in Yn Commeeys Celtiagh - Celtic News Mannin points to a visit that he made to Sutherland and the monument to the dreadful Duke of Sutherland that sadly still stands on Beinn a' Bhragaidh. There are some in Scotland who think lessons could be drawn from the destruction of Nelson's Pillar in Dublin's O'Connell Street. This was destroyed in 1966 by direct action.

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".


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