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...

Northern Ireland policeman killed by car bomb

Political, civic, church leaders and sporting figures unite to condemn the murder of young policeman Ronan Kerr by dissident Irish republicans.

Political, civic, church leaders and sporting figures unite to condemn the murder of young policeman Ronan Kerr by dissident Irish republicans.

Ronan Kerr, a recent recruit to the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland), was killed on April 2nd by a booby trap bomb as he entered his car, which was parked outside his house in Omagh.

Police Constable Kerr, 25, was a Catholic and a member of Tyrone GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association). He is believed to have been murdered by an Irish republican dissident group targeting Catholic officers in an attempt to deter Irish nationalists from joining the PSNI.

The murder was condemned by political, civic, religious leaders and sporting figures.

First Minister Peter Robinson said: “I have absolutely no doubt the overwhelming number of people in Northern Ireland want to move on. It’s only a few Neanderthals who want to go back. They will not drag us back to the past.”

Deputy Fist Minister Martin McGuinness said: "These are people who are pledged to destroy the peace and destroy a peace process that many of us have invested much of our adult lives in trying to bring about."

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton said the murderers “represent the failures of the past, and their actions run counter to the achievements, aspirations and collective will of the people of Northern Ireland.”

Among the hundreds of mourners that attended Ronan Kerr's funeral there were the four main church leaders, sports figures, unionist and republican leaders, representatives of the Irish and British governments, and the First Minister and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland.

A few days after the murder, one man was arrested in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, and another one in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland. Catholic participation in policing in Northern Ireland has increased substantially over the past years. While during the worst of the Troubles less than 10% police officers in the the former Royal Ulster Constabulary were Catholics, the percentage has risen steadily to almost 30% in the PSNI.

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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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