Eibhlin O'Neill's blog

Negative Foster refuses to support an Irish Language Act in Northern Ireland

There are few people in politics as disagreeable as Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster. Scowling her way through the very negative launch of her party's election campaign for the Northern Ireland Assembly election she said she would not be supporting the introduction of an Irish Language Act. No surprise there as hostility to Ireland’s indigenous ethnicity including the Gaelic language is deeply entrenched in her brand of political unionism. 

Ireland keeps its reputation for long-lived cattle

Recently an Angus cow, known as Jenny, believed to be the oldest in Ireland, passed away at the age of 33. Her owner was Finbarr Deasy who has a farm in Clonakilty, west Cork and Jenny had been with the Deasy family since she was a calf. 

Ireland: Apollo House - Conradh Ceilteach

News from Irish Branch of the Celtic League:

Members of Misneach Wicklow and Misneach Dublin have assisted in the ongoing occupation of Apollo House ( a NAMA vacant office block)  which has been underway by housing activists for over a fortnight now.

There are up to 40 residents housed in the building, who would otherwise be sleeping rough on the streets.

The story of Turkish aid to the Irish during the Great Hunger

Between 1845 and 1852 the Great Famine (Irish: an Gorta Mór) or the Great Hunger was a period of mass starvation, disease, and emigration in Ireland. Following the failure of the potato crop one million people perished, and one million were forced to emigrate. It devastated communities throughout Ireland and left an indelible mark on the country. 

Irish peacekeepers mark festive period on peacekeeping duties

News from the Celtic League:

No Xmas break for the many Irish peacekeeping forces serving in a variety of roles as part of the wider UN global peacekeeping effort.

There are currently 605 Military Personnel serving in fourteen different countries around the world. The biggest troop missions are the 377 personnel serving with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the 136 personnel with the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on the Golan Heights in Syria.

They took a brief moment out to compile this montage of Xmas photos (link):

Santa Claus cleared to enter Irish airspace on Christmas Eve

Santa Claus has been granted clearance to enter Irish airspace on Christmas Eve, Ireland's Transport Minister Shane Ross has said. He went on to say, "I have been informed that a large, jolly man on a low-flying sleigh, assisted by reindeer and perhaps some elves, will be entering Irish air space tomorrow evening. I would therefore encourage all children to be safety tucked up in their beds as early as possible to ensure Santa and his reindeer can go about their work successfully."

Super Trawlers: are they concentrating off Donegal?

News from the Celtic League:

Just days after the documentary ‘Atlantic’ which highlighted the activities of super trawlers was broadcast by RTE cataloguing the damage that they are wreaking on the livelihood of local fishing communities we started tracking some of the largest of these vessels including the Annelies Ilena and the Willem Van der Zwan. At 14,000 tonnes the Annelies Ilena is the largest trawler in the world.

We found them fishing off Northern Scotland near Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and then they started to make there way south (link):

Donegal’s Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh heads roll of honour in Irish Traditional Music Awards

TG4 (Irish: TG Ceathair) is an Irish public service broadcaster for Irish-language speakers. The annual Gradam Ceoil TG4 is the premier traditional music awards when an independent panel of adjudicators selects recipients each year.  The awards are not seen as a competition but a recognition for extraordinary and talented artists in Irish traditional music. Gradam Ceoil recipients receive a specially-commissioned piece by leading sculptor John Coll as well as a small stipend.  

Renowned Irish poet John Montague dies aged 87

The Irish poet John Montague (28 February 1929 − 10 December 2016) died early on Saturday morning in the Clinique Parc Impérial in Nice aged 87. Born in New York, John Montague was brought up in Tyrone. One of the best known Irish contemporary poets, he published a number of volumes of poetry, two collections of short stories and two volumes of memoir. He became the first occupant of the Ireland Chair of Poetry in 1998. 

'Atlantic' documentary brought the global assault on fisheries into Ireland's sitting rooms

News from the Celtic League:

There was a massive reaction in Ireland to the documentary ‘Atlantic’ shown on RTE last night. It chronicled the struggle of fishing communities around Ireland and farther afield to survive in the face of industrial fishing by super-trawlers.

Celtic League have been publicising for sometime now the carnage that is being wreaked on the marine environment around our shores and globally by these massive factory ships that Greenpeace term ‘Monster Boats’ which can process several hundred tonnes daily and fish for weeks.


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