Stanhope Forbes, father of Cornwall's Newlyn School of painting

IMAGE Friday, 16 August 2019
Dublin-born Stanhope Forbes spent time painting Brittany before founding the influential Newlyn School of painters in Cornwall in the late 19th century. Read More...

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...

North Sea oil reserves to be key on Scottish Government’s campaign for independence

Scottish Government's Finance Secretary says an oil rich, independent Scotland would be the world's sixth wealthiest country.

Scottish Government's Finance Secretary says an oil rich, independent Scotland would be the world's sixth wealthiest country.

The claim follows the publication last September of the 'Official History of North Sea Oil and Gas' by leading oil economist Professor Alex Kemp.

The 14,000 page report, which was commissioned by UK Prime Minister Tony Blair in 1999, says there was evidence that UK governments downplayed the benefits of oil to Scotland's economy to try and avoid encouraging the campaign for independence.

Professor Kemp's report echoed the 1974 McCrone report into the viability of an independent Scotland, which was kept secret for almost 30 years by successive UK governments.

The McCrone report, which came to light in 2005 under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, stated that North sea oil revenue could have made an independent Scotland as prosperous as Switzerland.

Speaking at the Scottish National Party (SNP) conference in October, Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said North Sea oil and gas would be a key element in the forthcoming referendum on independence.

Finance Secretary John Swinney also told party members: "The figures show that with a geographical share of our offshore resources, Scotland would be the sixth-wealthiest country in the world - 10 places ahead of the UK at 16th."

It is estimated that around 90% of the UK's oil and gas reserves lay within Scottish waters.

The Scottish Government plans to hold a referendum on the issue of independence from the United Kingdom in either 2014 or 2015.

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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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