Mannin: Sophia Morrison Centenary – ‘Went The Day Well’

January 16th, 2017

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.

Cristl Jerry gave a brief oration in Manx for the Celtic League and she was followed by Stewart Bennett speaking on behalf of Yn Cheshaght Ghailckagh.

The wreath was laid by Crellin Frost (the Great nephew of Sophia Morrison) who said movingly that he felt she would have been heartened that her work was still recognised and appreciated.

The event was very much a collaborative event with events today organised jointly by Mec Vannin, the Celtic League, Celtic Congress, Culture Vannin however at the graveside ceremony Bob Teare from the Department of Education was present and Malcolm Kelly of MNH – himself a Peel man.

I took the opportunity in winding up events at the Cemetery to thank Roy Kennaugh Cultural Officer of Mec Vannin for bringing all the various groups together both for the wreath laying and events later in the day I remarked that it was more important than ever that as far as is practical all bodies working to retain Manx culture and identity work together and deliver a unified message

I concluded by recoding our thanks to Churchyard Services who at their own expense have restored and maintained the Morrison plot for many years now and who had undertaken maintenance ahead of the commemoration – before they were asked.

Later a talk on the life of Sophia Morrison was given at Peel Methodist Church by Breesha Maddrell of Culture Vannin. The Church was packed and again Roy Kennaugh’s forward thinking saved the day Roy booked the Guild Room but also arranged the church in case numbers were larger than expected. In the event this was a prudent step as the Church was filled to capacity.

Breesha’s talk was wide ranging focusing on all aspects of Sophia’s life, her background, her interests, her collection techniques, her inherent shyness but firm commitment to achieve. She also highlighted the political dimension to her work which given the strictures of the time is often overshadowed.

The day time events concluded with light refreshments served in the Guild Room and for those of an artistic bent a concert will be held in the Centenary Centre at 7:30 this evening

Related link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophia_Morrison

BERNARD MOFFATT
Public Relations Officer Mannin Branch

Issued by: The Mannin branch of the Celtic League.

14/01/17

 

Image may contain: 1 person
Share this!
Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Luzel had the Chamber of ‘to a tee’ even though he dies 120 years ago in Brttany!

January 16th, 2017

News from Mannin Branch Celtic League:

With the collection of Manx folklore and culture very much to the fore over the weekend a colleague and I (as we are wont to do) were contemplating yesterday evening the broader Celtic context and especially the oft neglected Breton aspect.

As an aside whilst considering François-Marie Luzel my colleague remarked that one of Luzel works ‘The Crystal Maze’ might be a pointer to the thinking that drives the Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce – I know! The Chamber pop up everywhere these days they are sort of the bête-noire of the nationalist movement and the population generally. Unloved by all it seems – except the Manx government and Manx Radio.

He’s an excerpt from Luzels ‘The Crystal Maze’:

{And they left the Crystal Palace and went along a path so narrow that Yvon had to walk behind Yvonne’s husband. Then came to a great arid, sandy plain where Yvon was surprised see fat, shiny cattle sitting on the sand, chewing their cud peacefully; yet he did not say a word.

Further on they came to another plain where the grass was thick and tall, yet the cattle there were emaciated, fighting each other and bellowing. Yvon found this strange, and asked:

I’ve never seen anything like this; cattle thriving on sand, others almost starving on good pasture. What does it mean?’

‘The fat shiny cattle on the sand are poor people, who, content ¬with their lot, do not covet others’ goods; the thin, starving cattle always fighting, are the rich who’re never satisfied and always fighting and seeking more at others’ expense.’}

The emaciated cattle fighting in the field where the grass is ‘thick and tall’ sums the Chamber of Commerce up to a tee because there is never enough for them there’s always one more demand.

Its not that the Chamber don’t want to do ‘good works’ they do – but just for their own members. The rest of us can go hang. get taxed and extorted by our government to fund the grandiose strategy for growth of the Chamber which seems centred on expanding the workforce so that a ready supply of minimum wage ‘fodder’ pertains always.

Link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fran%C3%A7ois-Marie_Luzel

Image: François-Marie Luzel (6 June 1821 – 26 February 1895),

BERNARD MOFFATT
Public Relations Officer Mannin Branch

Issued by: The Mannin branch of the Celtic League.

15/01/17

 

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup
Share this!
Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Welsh Language Commissioner’s Report

January 16th, 2017

Tranceltic has this article on the Welsh Languages Commissioner Meri Huws most recent report a link to which can be found at the foot of the article.

As usual the Commissioner does not pull her punches:

“State Services Provided in Welsh Fall Short – Welsh Language Commissioner Condemns: “Unfortunate and Unacceptable”

Submitted by Emmett McIntyre on January 14, 2017

News From the Welsh Langauge Commissioner Meri Huws:

Today, the Welsh Language Commissioner published a report which provides a snapshot of people’s experiences when using the Welsh language with public organisations.

Between December 2015 and March 2016 the Commissioner conducted a series of surveys to ascertain the reality of experience when using Welsh with public organisations. The services included those provided in reception areas, on the telephone, online, by e-mail and in correspondence. The results of these surveys are the basis of the ‘Time to set the standards’ report.

Here are some of the main findings:

Welsh language services were actively offered in 58% of calls made to a sample of public organisations; however, 42% of callers continued to have to request a Welsh language service.

Only 19% of the websites surveyed enabled using the Welsh language by providing a language selector on every page.

No response at all was received to 26% of the correspondence sent in Welsh to public organisations; an unfortunate and unacceptable situation.

The Welsh Language Commissioner, Meri Huws, said:

“I placed myself in the shoes of service users to understand what it was like to access services in Welsh in Wales today.

“The report finds that individuals who prefer to use Welsh often have to persist with a request for services. I do not believe that it is reasonable or fair to expect people seeking a Welsh language service to persevere more than someone who wishes to receive a service in English.

“The findings show that public organisations need to step up and deliver good quality public services that will enable the people of Wales to increase their use of the Welsh language in their everyday lives.

“One significant change that has taken place since I conducted these surveys, is that public organisations have started to operate Welsh language standards. Standards are statutory duties setting out what organisations must do and deliver in Welsh. Standards are more robust than the previous system of language schemes, and early indications suggest that organisations operating standards are proactively increasing the bilingual skills of the workforce to be able to offer quality services in Welsh.

“I hope that the report will motivate organisations to channel their efforts effectively to improve the experience of the public and to build on what they are already doing in Welsh. To this end, I have organised a series of workshops with public organisations across Wales, to facilitate discussion and enable organisations to share good practice.”

Related links:

http://www.comisiynyddygymraeg.cymru/…/The-experiences-of-p…

http://www.transceltic.com/blog

Language Commissioners web pages:

http://www.comisiynyddygymraeg.cymru/english/Pages/Home.aspx

Image: Meri Huws

BERNARD MOFFATT
pp Celtic League.

15/01/17

 

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, closeup
Share this!
Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Youtube
Contact us

An Unlikely Sniper!

January 16th, 2017

Although the centenary commemorations of the Easter Rising in Dublin are now over the role of the Scots involved in the struggle to end British rule in Ireland at the time is to be highlighted in a new book (link):

http://www.thenational.scot/…/15025055.Book_pays_tribute_t…/

The book is scheduled to be published in time for Easter this year.

Although the most prominent Scot involved was Edinburgh born James Connolly who was executed in the days immediately after the rising many other Scottish people were prominent including women such Margaret Skinnider who was a republican combatant and due to shooting skills acquired at home was a noted sniper during the battle with the British (links):

https://www.celticleague.net/ne…/a-truly-remarkable-woman-2/
http://www.glasnevintrust.ie/…/interact…/margaret-skinnider/

Image: Margaret Skinnider

BERNARD MOFFATT
pp Celtic League.

16/01/17

 

Image may contain: 1 person
Share this!
Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Scotland: Nuclear Waste Concerns

January 16th, 2017

The issue of the transport of nuclear waste by air from Dounreay in Scotland to the United States is to be highlighted at the Scottish parliament this week it is an issue the Celtic League highlighted last year (link):

http://www.bbc.co.uk/…/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-386365…

The concerns about the suitability of Wick Airport are well founded it seems that the large C-17 Transport aircraft which carry the waste cannot take of with enough fuel for Atlantic transit. The aircraft make a short hop from Wick to the military airfield at Lossiemouth (Moray) where they are refuelled. Fully laden they then go on to the United States (link):

http://www.insidemoray.com/concerns-over-nuclear-waste-fli…/

The carriage of civil nuclear materials by air is not new and indeed at least one Irish Sea airport – Carlisle – has handled the flights.

In 2014 the airport authorities were quick to dismiss anti-nuclear claims over Carlisle airport expansion as being a precursor for such flight (link):

http://www.cumberlandnews.co.uk/…/Cumbrian-nuclear-flights-…

However almost twenty years earlier the airport had been used for air transports of highly toxic plutonium with the attendant risks to Irish Sea communities being played down by the Sellafield (then) operator British Nuclear Fuels (link):

http://www.independent.co.uk/…/bnfl-strives-to-allay-flight…

Image: C-17 Transport Aircraft – USAF

BERNARD MOFFATT
Public Relations Officer Mannin Branch

Issued by: The Mannin branch of the Celtic League.

16/01/17

 

Image may contain: airplane, sky, outdoor and nature
Share this!
Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Neighbourhood Policing – Scottish Style

January 9th, 2017

News in this report that the Ministry of Defence Police are to undertake a higher profile in policing the Rosneath Peninsula on the Clyde in the Scottish Sunday Herald (link):

http://www.heraldscotland.com/…/15009201.Armed_MoD_police…/…

The MOD Police like the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) is paramilitary i.e. organised and equipped like a military force. Over 90% of its officers are armed with a variety of weapons including sub machine guns and assault rifles. It’s unclear if it has the heavier weapons the CNC deploy but like the CNC it uses armoured vehicle.

Alannah Maurer, a resident of the Rosneath peninsula and a spokesperson for the local campaign group, Navy not Nuclear is quoted in the Herald article saying:

“There seems to have been no public consultation nor any statement from Police Scotland to inform the local population of these plans”.

She pointed out that the responsibilities of the MoD police to protect Faslane and Coulport and the movement of nuclear weapons were very different from the law and order responsibilities of Police Scotland. She questioned whether MoD officers were trained to the same standards, and whether they had the experience to deal with the general public.

Arthur West, chair of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament also expressed reservations saying;

“This would be a step towards increasing militarisation of the locality.”

The Scottish government do not seem to have been consulted and again like the CNC which also operates in Scotland these quasi-military armed police forces are answerable to Westminster not Holyrood.

Related link:

http://www.eliteukforces.info/police/mod-police/

Image: Neighbourhood Policing by the MOD Police!

BERNARD MOFFATT
Public Relations Officer Mannin Branch

Issued by: The Mannin branch of the Celtic League.

08/01/17

 

Image may contain: one or more people
Share this!
Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Apollo House – Conradh Ceilteach

January 9th, 2017

Apollo House support

News from Irish Branch of the Celtic League:

Members of Misneach Wicklow and Misneach Dublin yestereday 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.

To run a steady ship many volunteers are required day and night. It is clear immediately upon arrival that the general public are very supportive. Well wishers frequently arrive with donations of food, clothes and all sorts.

Representatives of Apollo House will meet with the Minister for Housing, Simon Coveney, today in an attempt to resolve the housing crisis.

Irish Branch, Celtic League posted 6 January 2017

http://www.thejournal.ie/apollo-house-a-look-inside-3161655-Dec2016/

Share this!
Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Released Papers Reveal UDR ‘Unease’

January 1st, 2017

One of the most vigorous strands to the Celtic League Military Monitoring campaign which began in the late 1970s was our opposition to the Ulster Defence Regiment.

The UDR recruited as a ‘Home Defence’ regiment to assist the Royal Ulster Constabulary was a replacement for the detested B Special Constabulary a sectarian force which had rum roughshod over the Catholic community in the six counties of the North of Ireland for decades.

Initially projected as a cross community force by the mid 1970s most members of the nationalist community in the North who had joined had resigned.

Celtic League saw the force as a sectarian body and more disturbingly believed within its ranks loyalist elements were using the facilities and weaponry to supply paramilitaries.

Subsequently a lot of evidence has been revealed that shows the force was just that a sectarian bolt-hole in some instances for British Army murder gangs.

As AGS to the then General Secretary of the League I wrote to EVERY member of the UK parliament in the mid 1980s calling for the force to be disbanded and enclosing a leaflet outlining our concerns. We also targeted selected members of the US Senate and wrote to the US Embassies in London, Dublin and Paris.

The UDR was eventually ignominiously wound up in 1992 and new papers revealed this weekend show that well over a decade earlier there were concerns about the body being articulated within the British government. A report from the BBC today says;

“State papers from the 1970s and 1980s have revealed how much the British authorities discussed the public image of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR).

This was just one issue among many aspects of social, political and sporting life in Northern Ireland, covered by the documents released by the Public Record Office.

The papers cover several different years up to and including 1990.

At present, state papers are released for public consumption twice a year.

The period of time for which they are usually kept secret is gradually being reduced.

They have been examined and analysed for BBC Northern Ireland by the historian, Dr Éamon Phoenix.”

‘Public image’

“Dr Phoenix said many papers discussed the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) and the public’s view of it.

Most citizens saw its soldiers either as protectors from terrorists, or as a sectarian force which aided, or acted, for loyalist paramilitaries.

The regiment existed for just over 20 years and some of its member were convicted or murder, kidnappings and bombings as well as other offences.

Arguments followed the repeated calls for a tougher vetting procedure.”

A decade ago a document entitled ‘Subversion in the UDR’ compiled by British military intelligence services in the early days of the regiment was released it can be found at this Wikipedia entry (link):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulster_Defence_Regiment…

Image: British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher touring the North of Ireland in 1981 wearing a beret of the UDR, an infamous British Army militia responsible for scores of terrorist attacks and murder’s during its existence

BERNARD MOFFATT
pp Celtic League Military Monitoring.

31/12/16

 

Image may contain: 5 people, people standing
Share this!
Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Youtube
Contact us

The Police Report – Revisited

January 1st, 2017

What does the Celtic League do? It’s a question sometimes posed over the years by folk a tad irritated by our output of news and comment.

However the League ‘DO’ quite a lot and ‘HAVE DONE’ quite a lot over the years including of course the highly successful military monitoring campaign of the 1970-90s and are focus on environmental (not least marine) pollution and human rights which culminated in changes at National and International level.

There is also the continuous publication since the early 1970s of CARN our (originally quarterly now thrice yearly) journal which includes articles in each of the six Celtic languages in all issues

I was reminded of this broader agenda when I read this report on the Transceltic blog:

“Police Scotland and Scottish Police Authority plans to embrace Gaelic language very welcome

Submitted by Douglas MacQueen on December 29, 2016

Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) have today (29th December 2016) unveiled their Gaelic Language Plans for the coming five years. It is a statutory requirement for all Scottish public bodies to have a Gaelic language plan. Under the plans Police Scotland officers will be encouraged to learn Gaelic and the service’s vehicles rebranded as part of an initiative to help promote the language within Scotland’s national force. Vehicles in Police Scotland’s N Division (Highlands and Islands), including the force helicopter, already carry the “Poileas Alba” branding.
Under the plan, which is very positive, officers who speak Gaelic or who want to learn the language will be identified. Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Cowie said: “Following a successful public consultation, I am delighted the joint Police Scotland and Scottish Police Authority Gaelic Language Plan is being launched. “The importance of upholding traditional and native languages cannot be underestimated and as a police service we recognise Gaelic as an important aspect of Scotland’s heritage. It also has a significant role to play in the overall wellbeing of communities and the country as a whole. “I look forward with great enthusiasm to taking on the recommendations contained in the plan and developing the service’s involvement with Gaelic speakers and communities where Gaelic is the dominant tongue.”

http://www.transceltic.com/…/police-scotland-and-scottish-p…

It reminded me that it’s now almost a decade since General Secretary Rhisiart Talebot compiled the ‘POLICE REPORT’ into attitudes across a number of the Police Forces to the Celtic Languages including the Force in Mann (link):

https://www.celticleague.net/…/the-police-report-compiled-…/

Image: Police Scotland helicopter – bi-lingual Celtic language signage once prevalent only in Wales is now being used in other parts of Britain.

BERNARD MOFFATT
Public Relations Officer Mannin Branch

Issued by: The Mannin branch of the Celtic League.

30/12/16

 

Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor
Share this!
Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Youtube
Contact us

‘Hatred of Irish’ prompted language cut Sinn Fein asserts

December 28th, 2016

FORMER Sinn Féin arts minister, Carál Ní Chuilín, has described as “disgraceful” and “a hatred of Irish” a decision by a government department to withdraw funding for an Irish language bursary scheme.
Around 100 people a year received bursaries from the Líofa Gaeltacht scheme to improve their Irish language skills at classes in the Donegal Gaeltacht.
First piloted in 2012, it is understood that the bursaries were worth around £50,000 annually and enabled those on lower incomes to avail of the Gaeltacht experience.
However, the Department for Communities has now decided to withdraw funding, in an email sent from the Líofa office to the boards of the gaeltacht colleges just before Xmas.
Sent in Irish, its English translation reads: “Because of efficiency savings, the department will not be providing the Líofa bursary scheme in 2017. Happy Christmas and Happy New Year.”
Full story at this link:
http://www.irishnews.com/…/former-culture-minister-slams-d…/
Today another Sinn Fein colleague has echoed her concerns:
West Tyrone representative and gaeilgeoir Barry McElduff said the decision by Communities Minister Paul Givan to end the £50,000 Líofa Gaeltacht scheme reflected the DUP’s “active disrespect” of Irish culture and identity.
He said the decision was indicative of a “deteriorating relationship” between Stormont’s two biggest parties.
The axed bursary scheme is aimed at disadvantaged young people from both sides of the community in the North.
Full report at this link:
http://www.irishnews.com/…/sinn-fe-in-mla-warns-over-cuts-…/

Image: The Líofa bursary scheme was set up by former Culture, Arts and Leisure Minister Carál Ní Chuilín, pictured here with former Assistant Chief Constable Judith Gillespie.

BERNARD MOFFATT
pp Celtic League.

27/12/16

 

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing
Share this!
Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Youtube
Contact us