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...

Wales votes 'Yes' on Devolution referendum

The National Assembly for Wales will have primary legislative powers as 63.5% voters say 'Yes' in the 3 March 2011 Referendum.

The National Assembly for Wales will have primary legislative powers as 63.5% voters say 'Yes' in the 3 March 2011 Referendum.

With a turnout of just 35.2%, 517,132 Welsh voters (63.5%) said 'Yes' in the referendum on direct law-making powers for the Welsh Assembly. 297,380 voters (36.5%) voted against.

The new Devolution settlement approved by the 2011 Referendum does not actually bring further policy areas for which the Assembly is already responsible, but simplifies and streamlines the law-making process in Wales.

As a result of the previous Welsh Devolution Referendum of 1997 and the Government of Wales Act of 1998, the Welsh Assembly had only limited powers to make laws on 20 policy fields such as agriculture, education, the environment, health, housing and transport.

Before the Welsh laws could be enacted, the Welsh Assembly had first to ask the UK Parliament in London for its agreement on a case-by-case basis.

Following the result of the 3 March 2011 Referendum, laws affecting Wales in the 20 devolved policy fields will now be made and enacted in Wales, and the Welsh Assembly will no longer need to obtain the agreement from London for law-making powers on a case-by-case basis.

The new devolution settlement is expected to save money and make government more efficient as Welsh laws are now enacted directly by the Welsh institutions and no longer have to be sent to England to be signed off.

Welsh political leaders gathered in the Senedd in Cardiff Bay, the National Assembly's debating chamber, to celebrate the Referendum result.

First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones said "This is a historic day for Wales... Today an old nation came of age."

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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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