• January 20, 2016


The commemoration at Hango Hill on January 2nd sees an oration in both Manx and English. At one time there was a misconception that the two speeches were translations of each other – this is not the case.

The other misconception is that the Manx language oration mainly focuses on cultural matters this is not always the case and as Allen Moore found when he produced a synopsis in English of this years address it had a forceful political edge (see below):

“Synopsis of the Manx Oration at the Illiam Dhone Commemoration

The Manx Oration at Hango Hill was delivered by Isla Callister, a member of the new generation of Manx speakers educated at Bunscoill Ghaelgagh in St Johns.

The oration had a very political message, referring several times to the relationship of the Isle of Man with England. The one sided changes in arrangements for Value Added Tax were mentioned, as were the effects that resulted from the changes on the most vulnerable people in society, the poor.

Isla then referred to the last and next Manx General Elections, including the poor turnout in 2011 and the need for existing MHKs to communicate with people attending school, new and future voters. The Manx government’s new marriage law was cited as an example of how it can act independently of England. The low number of female MHKs raised the question: how can the Manx government expect to reflect society with so few women in the Keys?

She then turned to the Manx language, thanking those around the Island whose hard work had led to the strengthening of the language’s position. She referred to the time when UNESCO declared that the language was dead. Students at the Bunschoill wrote to UNESCO asking that if the Manx language is dead, in which language are we writing? Isla declared herself tired of people talking down Manx, our mother tongue, and of the excuses that they use to do so. Two of the Mooinjer Veggey classes have closed down, with the view that it was because of changes in the way that the government funds nursery education and that the government could have done more to stop the closures.

She also referred to the visit in November by Seumaidh from ‘Gaelic Giftbox’ to find out about the Manx language. However, when he visited Cregneash he heard negative attitudes towards the Manx language from more than one of the workers of Manx National Heritage. How does that attitude look to children studying our country, heritage, language, culture and customs?

The oration closed by reminding us all that the Isle of Man is not England, so why does our government always follow that country’s lead? Are there not other countries which are better role models for education, economics and governance? Our heritage, language and culture are what make us stand out in the world. Our government is in a unique position to make use of its measure of freedom to carry along the vision and courage of Illiam Dhone.

(Synopsis compiled by Allen Moore)

Allen Moore is active in both Mec Vannin and Celtic League Manx branch. He is the International Relations Officer for Mec Vannin and has the Environmental Officer role in CL Mannin. He has travelled extensively in the Celtic countries and is also a frequent visitor to both Catalonia and the Basque country.


Issued by: The Celtic News



The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues


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