• September 28, 2023

The Chronicles of Man and the Isles are back in the news briefly courtesy of Manx Chief Minister Alf Cannan and John Wannenburgh MHK.

They appear out of the mists of time periodically only to sink back into the oblivion of the vaults of the British Library.

Some groups like Celtic League have called for their return to Mann for a number of years. They are part of the ‘Celtic Treasures’ looted from us and other Celtic countries. Here’s the link to our Celtic Treasures site established decades ago:


Of course while questions in the Keys keep the issue alive and a campaign such as IOM newspapers ran some years ago it really requires a more strident campaign to give the issue some traction.

When the League campaigned over the Calf of Man our London branch colleagues picketed the English National trust and we leafletted as well. In relation to the Chronicles I went to the British Library and handed out leaflets in the 1990s with the title BRITISH LIBRARY – BRITISH THIEVES. At the time it was (the British Library) running an ‘Adopt a Book’ promotion. I said we would like to adopt the one they’d stolen.

The demo was well received, indeed two Italians part of a party visiting the Library joined me on the picket and when the issue was explained to folk visiting the BL most were sympathetic to the Manx case.

I suppose it needs some younger people to ‘get out on the stump’ again and campaign if they really are serious about Manx identity and culture. As for me I’ve done my bit ‘shouting at the wind’ and anyway Manx Chief Minister Alf Cannan says the Chronicles are not ours – shame on him.

Bernard Moffatt

AGS Celtic League (27th September 2023)

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