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...

Plaid Cymru drops opposition to sit in House of Lords

Plaid Cymru has dropped its opposition to sending members to the House of Lords, meaning that members of the Welsh party will be sitting in the upper house of the UK Parliament within the next months.

Plaid Cymru has dropped its historic opposition to sending members to the House of Lords, meaning that members of the Welsh Party will be sitting in the upper house of the UK Parliament within the next months.

The party’s decision to send representatives to the Lords was voted by a large margin last November 2007 at the National Council meeting in Aberystwyth.

For decades, Plaid Cymru refused to nominate its own peers in protest at the "anti-democratic nature" of the House of Lords and called for a fully elected upper house. Now the party believes that Welsh nationalist peers need to make their voice heard in debates affecting Wales.

Plaid Cymru's parliamentary group leader in Westminster, Mr Elfyn Llwyd, had been calling on his party to drop its opposition to the House of Lords. "Ten years ago we debated this and I was certainly against the idea. But I've been working in Westminster for the last 13 to 14 years and I've realised that we are not able to represent our country as well as we might without somebody in the second chamber", he said.

The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and has a key role in approving the transfer of powers from London to Cardiff. While the Welsh Assembly has powers to make its own laws in devolved areas, the House of Lords has the power to veto law-making proposals put forward by the National Assembly.

Mr Elfyn Llwyd argued that it was in Plaid’s interests to be represented in the Lords to ensure that Welsh legislation was not blocked at Westminster.

"The main reason why it is so important for Plaid to send peers to the House of Lords is to avoid legislative proposals from Cardiff Bay being vetoed.”

"We would like a fully democratic, fully elected chamber, but I don't think there is a great deal of impetus for that to happen just now and I don't think we can afford to wait for it to happen", he added.

Former Plaid Cymru president Dafydd Wigley believed that his party should be able to nominate at least three new peers and proposed an informal "coalition team" of Welsh Labour and Plaid peers to ensure the House of Lords does not block legislative proposals from Cardiff.

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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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