Salmond Hammers Darling In Second TV Debate

Alba Gu Brath - Scotland Forever. Thousands attend Scottish independence rally, Edinbugh, Scotland, 2012 (Photo: Wings Over Scotland)

Well the verdict is in and it seems that Alex Salmond, the SNP first minister of Scotland, has emerged as the winner from last night’s second TV debate on Scottish independence. While the first contest was generally presented as a victory for Alistair Darling, the leader of the Unionist “No” campaign (partly on the basis … Continue reading

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United Parties In Catalonia, EU Citizenship In Scotland

An Chatalóin (Catalonia)

Despite the financial scandal erupting around its former leader and his family the ruling Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (CDC) party has joined with other nationalist groupings in providing a united front to Spain’s opposition to Catalonia’s referendum on independence tentatively planned for November of this year. While the one-time doyen of conservative Catalan nationalism, the CDC’s … Continue reading

Better Together Star: Catholics Look Better Hanging From A Tree

British Unionism or British Nationalism the English Defence League

The British Unionist parties heading the “Better Together” or No (surrender?) campaign in Scotland’s upcoming referendum on independence seem to have all but abandoned their scruples when it comes to defeating the SNP-led Yes side. Their language and rhetoric has become increasingly vitriolic with oblique references to verbal and physical violence littering their speeches as … Continue reading

Scotland Votes No, Scotland Gets Tory/UKIP (DUP/UUP/TUV) Rule?

Scotland's First Minister and SNP leader Alex Salmond adresses independence rally, Edinburgh, Scotland, 2012 (Photo: Wings Over Scotland)

Some interesting polling in Britain which shows that the centre-left Labour Party is still in the lead over the governing centre-right Conservatives and right-left Lib-Dems. However despite all the adverse publicity of recent weeks and concerted media criticism the right-wing England-centred UKIP movement under Nigel Farage is not just holding its own with potential voters … Continue reading

Nimble Scotland Versus Lumbering Britain

Alba Gu Brath - Scotland Forever. Thousands attend Scottish independence rally, Edinbugh, Scotland, 2012 (Photo: Wings Over Scotland)

There are very few politicians that I actually admire. In general my opinion of those who enter party politics is pretty poor though growing up in Ireland, with its values-adverse, morally flexible and easily purchasable political classes, it is easy to see why. It’s not that Irish politicians are particularly corrupt in the sense of … Continue reading

The Wee Blue Book

Albain (Scotland)

Like myself many readers of An Sionnach Fionn are interested in the upcoming independence referendum in Scotland so I thought I’d post some links to the “Wee Blue Book”, the much anticipated pro-sovereignty fact-guide by the excellent website Wings Over Scotland. By all accounts it has already been a great success and certainly judging by … Continue reading

Hold Your Tongue

The National Library of Scotland, Early Gaelic Book Collection

Karen Matheson, the lead vocalist with the popular Scottish folk band Capercaillie, recounts something that was once very familiar to speakers of the two main Gaelic languages, Irish and Scottish. From the Herald Scotland: “WHEN Karen Matheson was growing up in the small Argyll village of Taynuilt, her mother refused to speak Gaelic to her. She herself … Continue reading

Saltire: Ionnsaigh, The First Scottish Language Graphic Novel

The Gaelic Chieftain, Maurice Harron

A quick break away from politics with news of the release of Saltire: Ionnsaigh, the first graphic novel in the Scottish (Gaelic) language, which is due to be launched at the Edinburgh Book Festival in August. From a report by the Stornoway Gazette: “The first in a series centring round Scotland’s first comic book superhero, the dark … Continue reading

Scottish Referendum Poll Shows Yes Vote Gaining Ground

Alba Gu Brath - Scotland Forever. Thousands attend Scottish independence rally, Edinbugh, Scotland, 2012 (Photo: Wings Over Scotland)

The latest TNS BMRB poll in Scotland is showing a small if significant rise in support for the pro-sovereignty Yes side in the run-up to the September referendum on Scottish independence. When “undecideds” are stripped out the anti-sovereignty No vote has dropped to 56% while the Yes vote has increased to 44%, a 3% jump since … Continue reading

Gaelic Medium Education Growing In Scotland

BBC Alba

Some positive signs pointing towards growing stability in the numbers of Scottish (Gaelic) speakers in Scotland. Despite the decline caused by centuries of political, social and cultural exclusion – in particular since the 1800s –  communities are remerging in urban regions like Edinburgh and Glasgow. From the Scotsman newspaper: “THE growth of Gaelic education throughout … Continue reading

Language And Politics In Scotland

Sign of Albain or Scotland

The University of Edinburgh has carried out an interesting study on attitudes in Scotland towards the indigenous Scottish (Gaelic) language amongst supporters and opponents of independence. Unsurprisingly “Public Attitudes to Gaelic and the Debate about Scottish Autonomy” (PDF document) finds that in broad terms pro-sovereignty voters are more likely to have favourable views about Scottish … Continue reading

Electronic Irish

A lot of people seem unaware of the two best online resources for historical texts relating to Ireland, both of which are entirely free to use. The first is “CELT, the Corpus of Electronic Texts”, a collection of hundreds of manuscripts and books in digitised form mainly written in Irish and English (of various periods) … Continue reading

  • blog awards ireland Nominated: Best Politics Blog 2013, Best Personal Blog 2013, Best Blog Post 2013
  • blog awards ireland

    Nominated: Best News/Current Affairs/Political Blog 2014, Best Mobile Blog 2014, Best Blog Post 2014

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