The Neo-Celtic Architectural Revival That Wasn’t

Most observers agree that the applicability of the term “Celtic architecture” is largely a matter of perception since no such tradition of building design has survived into the modern or pre-modern eras, or at least none that can be labelled as authentically Celtic in origin. Indeed what defines a particular construction and artistic style as “Celtic” is itself debatable in light… Read More The Neo-Celtic Architectural Revival That Wasn’t

English Only, In Beirut’s American Restaurant

In relation to my recent posts on the discrimination faced by Irish- and Welsh-speakers in their respective nations, where intolerance of the indigenous Celtic languages has been embraced by historically Celtic, though now thoroughly colonised, English-speaking peoples, there is this story from the Lebanon. Even globally significant languages can be challenged in their home territories by a type of commercially-driven linguistic chauvinism that… Read More English Only, In Beirut’s American Restaurant

The Celtic Language Insurgents

Predictably enough, following the successful intimidation of a small community council in the majority Welsh-speaking village of Cynwyd by English language lobbyists, we learn that elsewhere in Wales the country’s native tongue is being rejected by a number of local government bodies on the spurious grounds that it is somehow alien to their regions. From the news and current… Read More The Celtic Language Insurgents

Drowning Welsh-Speakers In The English Language

A few days ago I highlighted a story from Wales where an anglophone lobbyist in the village of Cynwyd, a majority Welsh-speaking area in the north-eastern county of Denbighshire, had secured legal backing in her campaign to force the local community council into adopting a policy of full bilingualism, supposedly to meet the demands of the village’s minority English-speaking residents. Despite the fact… Read More Drowning Welsh-Speakers In The English Language

In Wales, They Speak Welsh, So Get Over It!

The small village of Cynwyd in the narrow, oblong county of Denbighshire, in the north-east of Wales, has a population of less than 600 men, women and children, most of whom rely on local farming or light industry for their livelihoods. While the region was formerly noted for its thriving Welsh-speaking communities today just over 20% of the county’s inhabitants are fluent-speakers, though in Cynwyd itself and the surrounding area these are in a… Read More In Wales, They Speak Welsh, So Get Over It!

Celtic-Speaking Communities Of Britain Denied Funding

While most eyes and ears were focused on the headline-grabbing announcements in the November budgetary review by the UK’s aristocratic finance minister, George Osborne, more seasoned observers were analysing the lesser discussed passages in the chancellor’s financial plans for 2016. Thanks to the diligence of Plaid Cyrmu and other interested parties it quickly emerged that the hereditary indifference or antipathy amongst Britain’s metropolitan elites… Read More Celtic-Speaking Communities Of Britain Denied Funding

Anglophone Segregationists In Wales, Hipster Denigrationists In Ireland

I suppose it was inevitable that an Anglophone supremacist somewhere in Ireland or Britain would pop up to denigrate that which most readily identifies the modern Celtic peoples – their language – during one of the more important holidays in the indigenous calenders of the Gaelic and Brittonic nations. On this occasion it is the Welsh-speaking men, women and children of… Read More Anglophone Segregationists In Wales, Hipster Denigrationists In Ireland

Restorative Justice For The Celtic Peoples

Returning to the issue of righting old wrongs, what might be described as restorative justice for dispossessed cultures, Paula Young Lee makes these observations on the decision by Barack Obama to officially recognise the name of the highest peak on the North American continent, Denali: “For decades, the Alaska Federation of Natives has been pushing to restore… Read More Restorative Justice For The Celtic Peoples

58% Support Welsh Teaching For Children In English-Speaking Schools

ITV News in the UK has a headline-grabbing story on its website: “Exclusive poll: 64% oppose compulsory Welsh to age 16”. The article goes on to state that: “…nearly two-thirds of people oppose the current situation where it is compulsory for schoolchildren to learn Welsh [as a] second language up until the age of 16.… Read More 58% Support Welsh Teaching For Children In English-Speaking Schools

The BBC Challengers Election Debate 2015

Did Nicola Sturgeon, the formidable SNP leader and current First Minster of Scotland, emerge as the winner from last night’s televised debate of the “challengers” in the UK general election? She certainly seems to have put Ed Miliband on the defensive more than once, though much of the centre-left media in Britain is spinning the Labour Party leader as… Read More The BBC Challengers Election Debate 2015

Ras Yr Iaith 2014

Another quick post, this time to highlight the success of June’s “Ras yr Iaith”, a symbolic relay race organised by Welsh-speakers to celebrate their community and publicise their demands for greater equality in Wales. Inspired by similar events held here in Ireland, Brittany and the Basque Country (the latter for many years) one thousand runners… Read More Ras Yr Iaith 2014

Three Welsh Rights Activists Arrested

Three activists fighting for Welsh language rights, two women and a man in their twenties, were arrested today by police in Wales after they painted slogans on a local government building demanding greater equality for Welsh-speaking citizens from the devolved government in Cardiff. From the Daily Post newspaper: “Three campaigners have spray painted the Welsh Government offices… Read More Three Welsh Rights Activists Arrested

Welsh, A Foreign Language In Britain

Substitute “Ireland” for “Wales” and “Irish” for “Welsh” and the discrimination revealed below would be pretty much the same. From a report in the Daily Post newspaper: “After receiving a form in English from National Savings and Investments, 72-year-old Arfon Rhys sent it back and requested either a Welsh or bilingual form. The letter he then received from… Read More Welsh, A Foreign Language In Britain