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 presidential election to be a two horse race

Only Fine Gael and Labour candidates remaining in presidential campaign as popular independent quits race and Fianna Fáil decides not to run a candidate.

Only Fine Gael and Labour candidates remaining in presidential campaign as popular independent quits race and Fianna Fáil decides not to run a candidate.

The Irish presidential election will be held on October 27th, together with two referendums on new powers to parliamentary committees and a reduction in judges’ pay.

Irish voters will make the choice between presidential candidates Gay Mitchell, a Fine Gael MEP and former TD, and Michael Higgins, the current president of the Labour Party and former Minister and TD.

Popular independent candidate Senator David Norris withdrew from the presidential race after revelations that he sought clemency from an Israeli court for his ex-partner, who was convicted of having sex with a minor in 1997.

According to polls, Senator Norris, a prominent member of the Church of Ireland and the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in Ireland, was the favourite candidate to win the Irish Presidency.

Although Fianna Fáil decided not to run a candidate, there was press speculation that veteran broadcaster Gay Byrne would seek presidential nomination with the support of the party. Mr Byrne eventually announced that he will not be a candidate for the Presidency.

The President of Ireland is the head of state of the Republic and, although it is largely a ceremonial office, it can exercise a number of limited powers with absolute discretion. The current president is Mary McAleese, who took office on 11 November 1997.

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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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