Eibhlin O'Neill's blog

Tributes paid at the passing of Sinn Féin Leader and former Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness

Sinn Féin Leader and former Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has died after short illness at Derry's Altnagelvin Hospital with his family by his side. A former deputy IRA commander who was a key figure in Irish politics for five decades, his death at 66, prompted tributes from allies and enemies alike. In 1972, at the age of 21, he was second-in-command of the IRA in Derry, at the time of Bloody Sunday, when 14 unarmed civil rights protesters were killed in the city by British soldiers of the 1st Battalion, Parachute Regiment.

Search and Rescue a vital but dangerous task

News from the Celtic League:

The events of the last few days and the loss of an Irish Coastguard helicopter with all crew members highlight that search and rescue is a vital but perilous task in the waters around these Islands.

In relation to both Ireland and the United Kingdom it was traditionally undertaken by the military although that situation changed in Ireland over a decade ago and in the UK more recently.

President praises courage of Irish Coast Guard following fatal helicopter crash

Ireland's President, Michael D Higgins, has said his thoughts are with the family of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick who died after an Irish Coast Guard helicopter crashed in the early hours of this morning. Three crew members of Rescue 116, named as Mark Duffy, Ciarán Smith and Paul Ormsby, are still missing. The Dublin based helicopter had gone to provide cover for another Coast Guard helicopter which had been helping an injured crewman on a fishing boat 150 nautical miles west of Eagle Island in Co Mayo.

Northern Assembly Election Results 2017 - A Good Day For Ireland

At 64.8% turnout. the highest since the first election to the northern assembly in 1998, after its establishment under the Good Friday Agreement. The results of the ninety seats being contested were as follows:

28 - Democratic Unionist Party

27 - Sinn Féin

12 - Social Democratic and Labour Party

10 - Ulster Unionist Party

8 - Alliance Party of Northern Ireland

2 - Green Party

1 - People Before Profit Alliance

1 - Traditional Unionist Voice

1 - Independent unionist

Conradh Na Gaeilge win High Court challenge

News from the Celtic League:

“The Stormont Executive has failed in its legal duty to adopt an Irish language strategy, a High Court judge ruled on Friday.

Mr Justice Maguire held the administration to be in breach of a requirement imposed under decade-old legislation.

The challenge was mounted by Irish language group Conradh na Gaeilge.
The body issued judicial review proceedings over a failure to comply with a St Andrews Agreement pledge.

Ireland: Traveller community given ethnic minority status

News from the Celtic League:

“The formal recognition of Irish Travellers as an indigenous ethnic minority by the Republic of Ireland has been hailed as a "historic" day.

Members cheered and applauded in the Dáil (Irish parliament) on Wednesday as Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny made the announcement.

There was a standing ovation as he gave status to the "distinct ethnic group".
He said the statement of recognition would go some way to ensuring they have a "better future with less negativity".

'Momentous'

Ireland; Conference considers 'alarming decline' in wild salmon stocks

News from the Celtic League:

A conference in Ireland this week has been considering the alarming decline in Atlantic Wild Salmon.

Despite a decade long conservation measure the decline has continued and factors thought to be involved in this include climate change and salmon fish farming which has lead to an increase in parasitic disease in both the salmon and sea trout.

Negative Foster refuses to support an Irish Language Act in Northern Ireland

There are few people in politics as disagreeable as Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster. Scowling her way through the very negative launch of her party's election campaign for the Northern Ireland Assembly election she said she would not be supporting the introduction of an Irish Language Act. No surprise there as hostility to Ireland’s indigenous ethnicity including the Gaelic language is deeply entrenched in her brand of political unionism. 

Ireland keeps its reputation for long-lived cattle

Recently an Angus cow, known as Jenny, believed to be the oldest in Ireland, passed away at the age of 33. Her owner was Finbarr Deasy who has a farm in Clonakilty, west Cork and Jenny had been with the Deasy family since she was a calf. 

Ireland: Apollo House - Conradh Ceilteach

News from Irish Branch of the Celtic League:

Members of Misneach Wicklow and Misneach Dublin have assisted in the ongoing occupation of Apollo House ( a NAMA vacant office block)  which has been underway by housing activists for over a fortnight now.

There are up to 40 residents housed in the building, who would otherwise be sleeping rough on the streets.

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