Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Atlantic ‘health check’ finds increased levels of CFC’s

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

Another thought provoking article from Irish Times marine correspondent, Lorna Siggins, about deep-ocean research in the North Atlantic which has found worrying levels of CFC (chlorofluorocarbons).
The study being undertaken by the Irish government’s marine research vessel Celtic Explorer is jointly funded by Ireland and Canada (link):
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/man-made-chemicals-penetrating-the-deep-atlantic-irish-research-finds-1.3093797
BERNARD MOFFATT
pp Celtic League.
26/05/17

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Minister stresses ‘interoperability’ with peacekeeping partners

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

The Irish Defence Minister, Paul Kehoe TD, has highlighted the Irish Armies ‘interoperability’ with other neutral UN peacekeeping partners as he welcomed home the Irish Army 28th Infantry Battalion which has just served a tour in Lebanon as part of a joint Irish/Finnish UNIFIL Battalion. The 28th Infantry is normally based at Finner Camp, Co Donegal. Minister Kehoe said:
“The Irish Government remains strongly committed to the maintenance of peace and security in Lebanon through our continued participation in UNIFIL. We entered a new phase in our participation in the UNIFIL mission when Ireland assumed the lead nation role in the joint Irish/Finnish Battalion in November 2016. Working as part of a joint contingent provides synergies and improves our level of interoperability with like-minded States.”
The Minister went on to acknowledge “that Ireland could not make such a substantial contribution to international peace support operations without the ongoing commitment of Defence Forces personnel to serve overseas in often difficult and dangerous circumstances. I commend each and every one of you on your decision to do so.”
The Minister concluded by saying “I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to all of your families and friends and to thank them for their support, which enables you to serve abroad and thereby help to protect and save the lives of countless numbers of some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world.”
Full text of DOD release at this link:
http://www.defence.ie/…/R…/190654C1B0879C308025812300367E58…
Public Relations Officer Mannin Branch
Issued by: The Mannin branch of the Celtic League.
24/05/17

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Naval Service vessel commences third year of rescue work

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

The Irish Naval Service is deploying vessels to assist the migrant humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean for the third year in a row.
The L.É. Eithne which coincidentally was the first vessel from the Naval service deployed in 2015 will reccomence rescue work shortly. The Irish Department of Defence said in a statement issued yesterday:
“Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe T.D., was in the Naval Base, Haulbowline this morning to meet the Captain and crew of L.É. Eithne before their departure for the Mediterranean to assist the Italian authorities in search and rescue activities in the Mediterranean.
During his meeting with the crew, the Minister said “I want to wish Commander Brian Fitzgerald and each and every member of the crew of L.É. Eithne a safe and successful mission. You are travelling to the Mediterranean with the best wishes of the nation. ”
The Minister further commented “The humanitarian crisis arising as a result of the loss of lives in the Mediterranean continues to be of great concern to Ireland and to our EU partners. I believe that we should continue to support Italy in a practical manner as far as possible and the Italian authorities have welcomed this support”.
L.É. Eithne was the first Irish Naval vessel deployed to respond to the crisis in 2015, followed by L.É. Niamh and L.É. Samuel Beckett. Three further Irish Naval vessels were deployed to the Mediterranean during 2016 to assist the Italian Authorities, L.É. Róisín, L.É. James Joyce and L.É. Samuel Beckett. Over 15,600 migrants have been rescued by Irish Naval vessels to date.2
Full text here:
http://www.defence.ie/…/R…/BB40ED4F620A3BE5802581290037D31A…
The Celtic League were one of a small number of UN NGOs who pressed the EU and the IMO for action to assist migrants after initial EU search and rescue cover was withdrawn in 2014 (links):
https://www.celticleague.net/…/imo-queried-on-members-obli…/
https://www.celticleague.net/…/imo-say-all-mediterranean-s…/
Image: L.É. Eithne rescuing migrants in June 2015
BERNARD MOFFATT
pp Celtic League.
24/05/17

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‘As few as three armed Garda’ at Dublin airport claim

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

The manifestation of a obviously well planned and resourced suicide bomber attack in Britain has raised concerns in Ireland that police there are not sufficiently prepared to meet what has been a threat hitherto mainly confined to the Middle East.
Ireland has always had Garda – armed – Emergency Response Units (ERUs) and since last year Dublin and Dublin Port have had additional Armed Support Units (ASUs).
Meanwhile ‘Senior Garda officers with decades of experience in fighting terrorism say the force is aware and prepared for “a constant battle and vigilance” in the face of international risks’.
However the new threats posed are very different from the scenarios previously faced and the Garda Representatives Association (GRA) has not held back from criticism revealing:
‘That as few as three armed Garda members were on duty at any one time at Dublin airport’.
The figures which have not been challenged seem an extraordinarily pauce figure for an Airport which is a major International and Regional hub.
The GRA have gone further and ‘last month used the occasion of its annual delegate conference to call for anti-terrorism training for all members of the Garda, not just specialist units’. It said ‘even basic training was needed in directing crowds after any major incident and in sealing off and clearing public areas at times of risk’.
The Garda which (with the exception of specialist units is an unarmed force unlike the PSNI in the North) has a long tradition of operating with the Irish Army. But Irish Defence Forces are themselves extremely stretched carrying out peace-keeping duties in several overseas locations for the UN.
Full Irish Times article at this link:
http://www.irishtimes.com/…/terror-threat-to-ireland-in-ren…
Image: Emergency Response Unit working with unarmed Gardaí on a checkpoint in Dublin.
BERNARD MOFFATT
pp Celtic League.
24/05/17

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NAMA deal linked to Manx offshore account again in headlines

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

NEWS FROM THE MANNIN BRANCH CELTIC LEAGUE
The so called ‘Project Eagle’ sale of bad debts accrued in the North of Ireland by NAMA which led to allegations about a multi-million pound slush fund lodged offshore in the Isle of Man has once again surfaced in the Dail.
Mick Wallace TD is quoted in the Irish Times saying that in its dealing over the issue:
“Nama had cost the State in a day what social welfare fraud would cost in a year.”
Full story at this link:
http://www.irishtimes.com/…/mick-wallace-claims-cerberus-wa…
BERNARD MOFFATT
pp Celtic League.
24/05/17

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RSPB in battle to ensure ‘environmental equilibrium’

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

NEWS FROM THE MANNIN BRANCH CELTIC LEAGUE
RSPB IN BATTLE TO ENSURE ‘ENVIRONMENTAL EQUILIBRIUM’
The UK Guardian newspaper has a report on a battle between energy companies and the RSPB the outcome of which could have far reaching impact on the eco-system off Eastern Scotland:
“In the waters of the North Sea a few miles off Scotland’s east coast, a nine-year battle has been raging that threatens a fragile and unique environmental equilibrium. The struggle has made mortal enemies of two huge lobbies that share a passionate commitment to the environment.
On one side are the developers of four vast windfarms comprising 335 turbines, which are planned for the waters of the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Tay. The windfarms are backed by the Scottish government, which regards renewable wind energy as key to the economic future. Pitched against them is the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, which claims the scale of the developments threatens the existence of some of Scotland’s best-loved species of seabird.”
Full story at this link:
https://www.theguardian.com/…/scotland-birds-at-risk-windfa…
BERNARD MOFFATT
pp Celtic League.
24/05/17

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Lá Dearg Irish Language Protest In Belfast

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Statement from Irish Branch of the Celtic League:
Saturday’s Lá Dearg in Belfast was an historic day by all accounts. Irish language speakers and supporters marched for their rights, for equality and for justice through the streets of Belfast with the demand that an Irish Language Act be introduced in the Six Counties. An estimated 12,000 people attended, mainly from the Six Counties, but with strong contingents of support from Irish speakers from Gaeltacht regions and the Twenty Six Counties.

Irish language groups and the Irish speaking community must now come together in every corner of the country and propel the Dream Dearg movement to fight for our linguistic rights at every level. Although each locality has different needs, and it is essential that focus is put on the social and economic questions at play in Gaeltacht areas, all sectors of the Irish speaking community must come together to support one another. Ar scáth a chéile a mhairfeas muid. We now have a unique opportunity to move things forward and we must strike while the iron is hot.

Níl aon dabht faoi ach gur lá stairiúil a bhí sa Lá Dearg, an mórshiúl a reachtáladh i mBéal Feirste Dé Sathairn seo chuaigh thart, ar son cearta, cothromas agus cóir do phobal na Gaeilge agus mar aidhm agus mar éileamh aige Acht Gaeilge a bhaint amach sna Sé Chondae. Meastar go raibh tuairim is 12,000 duine i láthair, daoine as na Sé Chondae don chuid is mó ach tacaíocht ann fosta ó Ghaeil na Gaeltachta agus áiteacha eile sna Sé Chondae is Fiche.

Is mithid do ghrúpaí pobail agus grúpaí Gaeilge teacht le chéile in achan chearn den tír anois agus ollghluaiseacht dhearg a chur faoi lán seoil. Ní hiad na tosaíochtaí céanna atá i ngach uile cheantar, agus ba cheart díriú go háirid ar na ceisteanna sóisialta agus eacnamaíochta atá ag goilleadh ar cheantracha Gaeltachta, ach caithfidh pobail Ghaeilge i ngach páirt den tír a bheith ag tacú le chéile. Ar scáth a chéile a mhairfeas muid. Tá deis ar dóigh anois idir lámha againn ach caithfear an t-iarann a fhreastal agus é te.

Statement from Irish Branch of the Celtic League

Lá Dearg in Belfast

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Media freedom has never been so threatened

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

A truly free and independent press is a vital component of any healthy democratic society. The need for transparency and for those who wield governmental and corporate power to be held accountable is vital. The annual briefing by Reporters Without Borders, has pointed out that press freedom has never been as threatened as it is now. Based in Paris, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is an independent NGO with consultative status with the United Nations, UNESCO, the Council of Europe and the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF).

In its annual briefing, Reporters Without Borders warned about the dangers of highly concentrated media ownership. Alongside this the rise in surveillance and of authoritarian leaders across the globe is undermining freedoms, the watchdog said, with worrying signs even in established democracies. In the latest Press Freedom Index, Celtic countries that fall within the United Kingdom saw that the UK fell two places to 40th position in the index. Brittany which is included in the results for France saw France at 39th position. Ireland, where concentrated media ownership has been criticised, has fallen five places from ninth to 14th. Countries with large numbers of those with Celtic descent include the USA, which is positioned at (43rd), Canada (22nd), Australia (19th) and New Zealand (13th). 

Nordic countries Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark occupy the first four places in the Press Freedom Index in that order. However, the report makes disturbing reading and states that: ‘Media freedom has never been so threatened and RSF’s “global indicator” has never been so high (3872). This measure of the overall level of media freedom constraints and violations worldwide has risen 14% in the span of five years. In the past year, nearly two thirds (62.2%) of the countries measured have registered a deterioration in their situation, while the number of countries where the media freedom situation was “good” or “fairly good” fell by 2.3%’.

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Joint demonstrations planned for sick Basque political prisoner

Monday, April 24th, 2017

Breton news site 7seizh reports that there will be further demonstrations in support of the terminally ill Basque political prisoner Oier Gomez on 26th April.

Joint demonstrations will take place in Bayonne and Gastiez. On that day the Appeal Court in Paris will consider his release on medical grounds and events at the two venues will go on all day until the result of the Court is known:

“Ce mercredi 26 avril, Bagoaz appelle à une journée de mobilisation à Bayonne et Gasteiz en faveur d’Oier Gomez. Ce mercredi-là, la cour d’appel de Paris examinera la demande de mise en liberté déposée par le détenu dont le pronostic vital est engagé. Demande dans le cadre de trois mandats d’arrêt européens acceptées par les autorités judiciaires françaises.

“La décision de la cour viendra en complément de celle prise par le tribunal d’application des peines de Paris deux jours avant, le lundi 24 avril. Ce dernier rendra sa décision sur une première procédure, sa demande de suspension de peine. Lors de l’audience, le procureur ne s’était pas opposé à celle-ci.”

Full story at this link:

http://7seizh.info/…/pays-basque-journee-de-soutien-oier-g…/

Image: An earlier demonstration organised by Bagoaz in Bayonne.

BERNARD MOFFATT

pp Celtic League.

23/04/17

 

 
Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, crowd and outdoor
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Breizh: action over failure to progress road signs initiative

Monday, April 24th, 2017

(UN MILITANT D’AI’TA! CONVOQUÉ PAR LES FORCES DE L’ORDRE POUR DÉMONTAGE DE PANNEAUX SUR LES VOIES EXPRESS – 7siezh link below)

The Breton language action group Ai’ta! is stepping up its campaign over the failure of the French National Roads Authority DIRO to place bi-lingual signage in Brittany

Ai’ta! has previously undertaken a number of road sign actions in the country and today called its supporters to a protest in front of the Gendarmerie de Ploudalmézeau in support of one of the group summoned to appear there by police.

An agreement on signage was reached over in 2015 and Ai’ta! say the State is failing to honour it and discrimination against the Breton language continues.

Finally than a year after this signing, with no discussions initiated between Brittany and the DIRO (Interdepartmental Directorate of Roads West) to determine how to progress the issue Ai’ta! organised a symbolic action in January by dismantling some French monolingual panels along the motorway.

Links:

http://aita.bzh/…/un-militant-daita-convoque-par-les-force…/

http://aita.bzh/…/letat-continue-ses-efforts-pour-effacer-…/

BERNARD MOFFATT

pp Celtic League.

22/04/17

Image may contain: grass, outdoor and nature

 
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