Lough Derg: the spirit of a holy place

IMAGE Wednesday, 04 April 2012
A small island in a lake called Lough Derg is one of the most famous of Ireland's places of pilgrimage. About 35,000 pilgrims come to it each year intent on doing penance for their sins or seeking divine intervention in their lives. Read More...

Nantes-Brest Canal, Brittany's popular leisure waterway

IMAGE Friday, 07 October 2011
The Nantes-Brest Canal is a 364 km long waterway connecting the city of Brest, on the west of Brittany, to the city of Nantes in the south east. Read More...

The shrine of the Cailleach at Glen Lyon

IMAGE Wednesday, 07 September 2011
Each year, in one of the most remote areas of Scotland, a family of stones are brought out of the house in the spring and returned to the house for the winter. The tradition stretches back thousands of years and the site is believed to be the only surviving shrine to the Celtic goddess Cailleach. Read More...

Newport Celtic Festival and Highland Games, Oregon

IMAGE Tuesday, 17 May 2011
A cultural celebration of the seven Celtic nations, the new festival on the Oregon coast features Celtic music, dance, food, drink, crafts, vendors, kids events, family histories and Highland Games. Read More...

World's largest tidal power project

IMAGE Thursday, 07 April 2011
The world's largest tidal stream energy array will be built in the Sound of Islay on Scotland's west coast. Read More...

Wales' new devolution settlement

IMAGE Thursday, 03 March 2011
Following the 'Yes' victory in the 3 March 2011 Referendum, Wales will now be able to pass its own laws in twenty policy fields. Read More...

The Giant's Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

IMAGE Thursday, 03 March 2011
The Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland has an unparalleled display of polygonal columns of basalt rock resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago. Read More...

Irish economy bailed out by EU and IMF

Government accused of surrendering national sovereighty as Ireland receives €85 billion rescue package from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Government accused of surrendering national sovereighty as Ireland receives €85 billion rescue package from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

The Irish economy is suffering the consequence of the collapse of its banking system as a result of the country's real estate bubble bursting.

The economic bail out, announced on 21 November 2010, followed days of speculation where the Irish Government insisted it did not need help to cope with the state of its finances.

But the EU pushed the Irish Government into accepting the loan in order to stop its financial crisis from spreading to other countries in the Union.

The Irish Finance Minister, Brian Lenihan, said the economy had a deficit of almost €20 billion which it could not afford to finance at current market rates.

Mr Lenihan described the loan as a "standby fund" and said not all of it would be used to keep the country running.

The €85 billion loan, two thirds funded by the EU and one third by the IMF, was given under conditions to cut Ireland's public expenditure and increase taxation.

The loan was narrowly approved in the Irish Parliament on 15 December as opposition parties accused the Government of surrendering Ireland's sovereignty to the EU and the IMF.

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Celtic Countries is the online magazine for people who enjoy the Celtic nations, their natural splendour, culture, and lifestyles.

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