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...

Allan Bell elected Isle of Man's Chief Minister

No major changes on the island's political landscape as independents retain majority of seats at the Manx General Election held during September 2011.

No major changes on the island's political landscape as independents retain majority of seats at the Manx General Election held during September 2011.

Traditionally, the Isle of Man's political system is not dominated by party politics since most Manx politicians stand for election as independent candidates rather than as members of political parties.

The island's largest political party, the Liberal Vannin Party, increased its share of the vote from 4% to 12.5% and won 3 seats out of 24 in the House of Keys, the island's parliament.

On 11 October, independent Member of the House of Keys (MHK) Allan Bell was formally declared Chief Minister of the Isle of Man, a job he will hold for the next five years.

His predecessor, Chief Minister Tony Brown, retired from politics after 35 years in public service.

Incoming Chief Minister Alan Bell, aged 64, was first elected to the House of Keys in 1984 and is the longest serving Member in the chamber. Over the past two decades he has held a number of ministerial roles including Minister for Economic Development from 2001 to 2010.

In his inaugural address, the new Chief Minister pledged "to rebalance the government's budget" and "make changes that will secure the future of the Isle of Man as a competitive and responsible centre for international business."

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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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