There are many customs surrounding the annual October holiday of Halloween or All Hallows’ Eve, the quasi-Christian festival incorporating significant elements of the traditional Irish and Celtic celebration of Samhain or Feis Shamhna, the mythologically-important date marking the transition between the winter and summer halves of the year in the Gaelic calendar. One of the… Read More The Origins Of The Halloween Jack-O’-Lantern
Once upon a time the appearance of “Spanish students” on the streets of Dublin was regarded as one of the chief signs that the summer had truly arrived in Ireland. Every year flocks of young people from the Iberian peninsula, and from elsewhere in the Spanish-speaking world, would descend upon the country for several weeks… Read More 7th Century Ireland, Where The Students Go To Party
Sometimes an individual should simply stick to doing what he or she does best. In the case of the British author J.K. Rowling her “best” is continuing her spectacularly successful career of writing fantasy books for children; and not becoming an online agent provocateur for Greater England: a veritable troll-baiting champion of its hegemony over the island of… Read More JK Rowling, In Defence Of Greater England
Michael White, the parliamentary correspondent of the nominally centre-left Guardian newspaper in the UK, has gained an unenviable reputation over the last decade as one of the more odiously patronising Greater England supremacists of the London commentariat. His barely concealed disdain for the “Celtic fringe” is carefully couched in a pseudo-liberal façade of Anglo-Leftist “anti-tribal” rhetoric. Of… Read More Michael White, The Debonair Greater Englander
Interesting report by Ben Judah for the European edition of the current affairs site Politico on his recent encounter in Britain with George Galloway’s controversial Respect Party and some of its less then welcoming supporters. In many ways the organisation, which appeals to a strong ethnic atavism amongst recent immigrant communities in the UK stemming… Read More No Respect In Bradford For Journalists
Back in June of this year Ireland’s public service broadcaster RTÉ finally got around to examining the long history of Britain’s use of physical and psychological torture against Irish men, women and children in a television documentary called “The Torture Files”. It caused a minor furore in the country before the news media hurriedly moved… Read More Waterboarding Made In Britain
Over the last few decades our Celtic neighbours in Wales have seen the emergence of something approaching a national consensus on the importance of the Welsh language. Though there is still much progress to be made and lots of wrongs to be righted, relatively few people would now challenge the need to facilitate and encourage… Read More No Value In Welsh For Tory’s English Candidate
In the recent Scottish referendum 44% of voters said “Yes” to an independent Scotland. In contrast 56% of voters said “No” with the general understanding that this rejection of independence was conditional on further powers being devolved to the Edinburgh parliament and government from their London counterparts. The promise of so-called “devo-max” in return for… Read More Scottish Democracy Meets X Factor
Taking about broken promises the above image is taken from today’s edition of Britain’s right-leaning Times newspaper. So much for all-party pledges in the wake of Scotland’s “No” vote. However in related news, via Newsweek: “The Scottish National Party (SNP) has doubled its membership since its independence campaign ended in a narrow defeat last Thursday, overtaking… Read More That Pre-Vote Pledge By The British Party Leaders
Well I’ve waited half the morning to write this post and I’m still unsure of what to say. The feeling of sadness is genuinely overwhelming if only because I have so many Scottish friends and correspondents whose emotional investment in seeing true self-governance and sovereignty for their ancient nation has consumed so much of the last… Read More Woe To The Vanquished
Some recent tweets by @ansionnachfionn on the #IndyRef #BritNats so desperate they referencing #DadsArmy in #IndyRef so #VoteYes for #Scottish FUTURE not #British PAST http://t.co/ljdPnLcr3v — An Sionnach Fionn (@AnSionnachFionn) September 17, 2014 If #UK is a “family” of nations #Ireland was the kidnapped girl chained in the basement! We escaped + so can #Scotland… Read More Tweeting For #VoteYes In The #IndyRef #Scotland
Just time to highlight three articles that deserve your attention. The first is “10 Reasons Why Irish Is An Absolutely Awesome Language” from the Czech software engineer Michal Boleslav Měchura of the blogs “Young, Single, Multilingual” and “An Cainteoir Dóchais”. My favourite on the list is also the first: “1. Irish has no words for yes and no … Read More The Common Struggle
As the referendum campaign on Scottish independence enters its closing days Lord John Prescott, the former Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, holder of half-a-dozen senior cabinet posts and deputy leader of the British Labour Party, visited Scotland to drum up support for the Unionist cause. On the back of his hand was written the… Read More John Prescott, A Metaphor For Failed Britain
Within the margin of error but given two years of unrelenting attacks by the British political and media establishment it is something altogether remarkable. And even a little bit inspiring. Albain Abú!
The Mirror has an excellent post featuring a recent radio discussion in the United States on Scotland’s upcoming referendum on independence that pretty much nails the negativity and scare-mongering that has driven the British Unionist “No” campaign (not to mention the hypocrisy of Alistair Darling, the Labour figure-head of the cross-party “No” side, who has… Read More Scotland The Brave
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… Read More Scotland Votes No, Scotland Gets Tory/UKIP (DUP/UUP/TUV) Rule?
In yesterday’s Guardian newspaper the journalist and political activist Ellie Mae O’Hagan argues that the Welsh language should be part of the school curriculum not just in Wales but in other parts of the island of Britain too. Since “England and Wales” are essentially treated as one constitutional and legal entity under British law it… Read More Equal In Any Language
When the children’s author JK Rowling announced her financial support for the anti-sovereignty side in Scotland’s forthcoming referendum on independence she lamented the alleged online campaign of abuse against British Unionist supporters by their Scottish Nationalist rivals. While using her own troll-like language to mischaracterise some of those who believe in a free and self-governing… Read More A Message To Scotland
It says much for the fantasy politics of British nationalism that a decision by the English-born children’s author JK Rowling to boost the already hefty warchest of the Unionist “No” campaign with a donation of one million pounds is being heralded by the right-wing press in Britain as “the most significant” celebrity intervention in the referendum… Read More Harry Potter To The Rescue!
A terrifying report from the Guardian newspaper for anyone who knows anything about the history of modern Ireland: “David Cameron hosted a lavish reception in the Downing Street garden for Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionists last week, prompting senior party figures to say the prime minister is wooing its MPs ahead of a possible hung parliament… Read More Bye-Bye Peace Process! Hello Orange World Order!