Sellafield: The Leagues Long History of Opposition

I wrote some items recently about the late Dr Brian Stowell a long time member of the Celtic League and a contributor to Carn it’s journal almost from its inception in the early 1970s.

Brian and his commitment to the Celtic movement is often seen as synonymous with the Celtic languages he taught both Irish and Manx and was pivotal to the formal inclusion of Manx language education in the teaching curriculum in Mann.

However he had more strings to his bow than simply culture and language and also wrote on a variety of subjects political, economic and environmental. One of his most interesting pieces for me (new to the inter Celtic aspect of nationalism at the time) was this very brief piece in Carn in 1976. In it he highlights the danger posed from Sellafield and interestingly refers to suggestions by Scientists in the UK that plutonium pollution in sediment migrated to beaches and was then blown in land. He had in fact spent some time working with the AEA.

It would be many more years before this concept received mainstream media coverage. Here is a link to an article in the Guardian articulating the same concerns almost a quarter of a century later:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/1999/apr/23/paulbrown

A year after the brief item by Brian in Carn at its AGM held in Liskeard, Cornwall in July 1977 the Celtic League formally adopted a resolution opposing nuclear power and the dumping of nuclear pollutants in the Irish and Celtic seas. That policy has been pursued ever since.

Image: Article screenshot from Carn No 15 Autumn 1976 – Inset Brian Stowell in later life.

Bernard Moffatt

Assistant General Secretary Celtic League (19 January 2020)

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