• January 6, 2022

If there is one thing I’ve been prolific at for the League it’s spouting off in the media over the years or writing articles and attending the ‘odd’ conference – or thirty! Never one much for the ‘hands on’ protesting my late wife Dee was invaluable in that regard. When I was kicking off about the expansion mooted for the NATO Jurby Sea Bombing Range (Isle of Man) in the late 1970s she got me of my arse and out spreading leaflets around the NW of the Island. As she put it; ‘No point in writing letters just to see your name in the paper’. The MOD never did get the Range extension approved by the Manx government.

Similarly when I was lying gazing at the sky on the grass at the back of Peel Castle in 1982 and she was clicking away with her camera I asked “what are you doing’”?. “You talk about them”, she said “I photograph them”. Investigating I found HMS Porpoise had popped up in Peel bay (see top two pics) – hours later it sank the Irish MFV Sheralga/ ‘Gotcha’ as THE SUN would say!.

Later – about 1988 – she snapped another O Class submarine (lower pic) which just ‘popped up’ off the Conister Rock in Douglas Bay only weeks earlier the MOD had said that the Eastern Irish Sea was not overly utilised by submarines for training because it was ‘too shallow’. There had been complaints from Manx fishermen working the Douglas Bank aired earlier in the month about dangerous submarine activity.

In 1985 it was she who on the Ayres spotted what environmental damage to habitat the MOD (British Army) were doing by trundling their trucks through the Tern nesting sites ‘training’!. Again we had a successful outcome.

Going through my old snaps I think of this. It’s not always the folk like me that were/are ‘front of house’ in the Celtic League that deserve the plaudits but the others who just worked away quietly and there were and are many just like her who have given a lot of time and effort unsung over the years.

Link: HMS Porpoise (Page 23) 1982 :


Link: The Ayres Terns (Page 16) 1985:


Images: Dee ( pictured in 1987) and her sub ‘snaps’

Bernard Moffatt
AGS Celtic League (6th January 2022)

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