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 Election called as Taoiseach steps down

Brian Cowen resigns after shock Cabinet revolt against his leadership.

Brian Cowen resigns after shock Cabinet revolt against his leadership.

In a dramatic sequence of events, Taoiseach Cowen went from winning a motion of confidence to stepping down as party leader, member of the Dáil and Taoiseach in under two weeks.

On 18 January 2011 Mr Cowen won a leadership challenge within his Fianna Fáil party, just 48 hours after five of his Cabinet Ministers had tendered their resignations.

Departed ministers included Dermot Ahern from Justice, Noel Dempsey from Transport, Tony Killeen from Defence, Mary Harney from Health, and Micheál Martin from Foreign Affairs after a failed leadership challenge.

On 22 January, only four days after winning the leadership challenge, Brian Cowen announced his resignation as leader of Fianna Fáil.

On 23 January the Greens, the junior party in the coalition with Fianna Fáil, withdrew from government leaving Mr Cowen with no choice other than calling an election.

On 24 January, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan reached an agreement with opposition parties to complete all stages of the Finance Bill before the election, which was a prerequisite of the EU and IMF's bailout of the Irish economy.

On 1 February, the Taoiseach dissolved the Dáil and confirmed the general election will take place on 25 February 2011.

Mr Cowen also announced that he would not stand in the upcoming election, 27 years after he was first elected to the Dáil in 1984.

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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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