Douglas MacQueen's blog

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. 

Scotland's oldest surviving book still in Scotland: The Celtic Psalter

Scotland's Celtic Psalter dates from the 11th Century and contains hand-written psalms in bold, clear Irish miniscule script giving a text of the Psalms in Latin. The 1,000 years old psalter, which is the oldest Scottish book still in Scotland, has Gaelic and Pictish Celtic illustrations. With its extraordinary illuminations in vivid green, red, purple and gold, it has been described as Scotland's version of the famous Book of Kells in Dublin. The Book of Kells/Leabhar Cheanannais is kept in the library of Dublin's Trinity College and was made by Celtic Monks around 800AD.

Remains of wooden hut where Saint Columba studied and prayed identified

The remains of the wooden hut where Saint Columba was thought to have meditated and prayed on Iona have been dated to his lifetime. Saint Columba (Gaelic: Colm Cille) is credited with spreading Christianity in Scotland. He was the great-great-grandson of Niall Noígíallach, Irish high king who reigned in the late 4th and early 5 centuries, and ancestor of the Uí Néill family who were dominant in Ireland from the 6th to the 10th century.

Spain attempts to stamp on democracy in Catalonia

Catalonia (Catalan: Catalunya) is located on the northeastern extremity of the Iberian Peninsula. It has its own language, laws and customs. Catalan nationalist parties won an absolute majority in the 135-seat regional assembly in 2015 and voted to start the process towards independence. An independence referendum has been called for October 2017 and the question to be voted on will be: "Do you want Catalonia to be an independent state in the form of a republic?

Galdus the Scottish King whose legend is honored in ancient monuments

Little is known of the mysterious King Galdus. However, in legend he is described as a Scottish Chief who fought the Romans. His fame was such that ancient monuments, built long before his time, became associated with him. However, there is not likely to be any connection between this historical figure and these prehistoric remains.  One of the sites is that of the two Neolithic tombs of Cairnholy, in Dumfries and Galloway in South-west Scotland.

Scottish island of South Uist proudly hoists its flag

South Uist (Scottish Gaelic: Uibhist a Deas) is an island in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. There are a number of sites of archaeological interest on the island, including chambered tombs, Beaker sites, a Bronze Age hoard, roundhouses, brochs, cairns, ogham inscriptions and  Viking settlements. South Uist is also the only location in Scotland where prehistoric mummies have been found. They were found under the prehistoric village at Cladh Hallan (Scottish Gaelic: Cladh Hàlainn).

Scottish city of Perth hosts 2017 International Celtic Congress

Perth  (Scottish Gaelic: Peairt) is hosting this year's annual International Celtic Congress 2017 from July 17th to 22nd. The International Celtic Congress (Breton: Ar C'hendalc'h Keltiek, Cornish: An Guntelles Keltek, Manx: Yn Cohaglym Celtiagh, Scottish Gaelic: A' Chòmhdhail Cheilteach, Irish: An Chomhdháil Cheilteach, Welsh: Y Gyngres Geltaidd) is a cultural organisation that seeks to promote the culture, ideals, and languages of the Celtic peoples.

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