Celtic League (political organisation)

Celtic League (political organisation)

Infobox Geopolitical organization
name = Celtic League
" _br. Ar Kevre Keltiek"
" _cy. Yr Undeb Celtaidd" " _ga. An Conradh Ceilteach"
" _gd. An Comann Eadar-Cheilteach"
" _gv. Yn Commeeys Celtiagh"
" _kw. An Kesunyans Keltek"

linking_na me = the North American Free Trade Agreement

symbol_type = Emblem

membership =
admin_center_type =
admin_center =
languages_type = Languages
languages = "Brezhoneg", "Cymraeg" English, "Gaeilge", "Gaelg" "Gàidhlig", "Kernewek"
leader_title1 = General Secretary
leader_name1 = Rhisiart Tal-e-bot (2006 - present)
leader_title2 = Editor of Carn
leader_name2 = Pat Bridson (1984 - present)
established_event1 = Formation
established_date1 = 1961
established_event2 = Publication of Carn
established_date2 = 1973
official_website = http://celticleague.net

The Celtic League is a political and cultural organisation in the modern Celtic nations of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall and the Isle of Man. It places particular emphasis on the indigenous Celtic languages.


The fundamental aim of the Celtic League is to contribute, as an international organisation, to the struggles of the six Celtic nations to secure or win their political, cultural, social and economic freedom. This includes:
* "Fostering co-operation between Celtic peoples."
* "Developing the consciousness of the special relationship and solidarity between them."
* "Making our national struggles and achievements better known abroad."
* "Campaigning for a formal association of Celtic nations to take place once two or more of them have achieved self-government."
* "Advocating the use of the national resources of each of the Celtic countries for the benefit of all its people." [http://celticleague.net/aimsandob.html "Aims of The Celtic League"] . Celtic League website. Retrieved 7 December, 2007]

"Each Celtic nation is conditioned by a different history and so we must not expect uniformity of thought, but instead allow diversity to express itself within the Celtic League. In this way, we may better recognise those areas of possible co-operation and eventually formulate a detailed common policy. With this we can work out which kind of relations between our communities will enable them to enjoy freedoms and liberties at both individual and community level." [http://celticleague.net/aimsandob.html "The Role of The Celtic League in Our National Struggles"] . Celtic League website. Retrieved 7 December, 2007]

In other words, the Celtic League aims to bring together the various independence movements of these peoples. Often language and cultural organisations play a part. There is some variation in the understanding of these aims, which ranges from general meetings, to an actual federation along the lines of the Nordic Council.


The six main branches are usually referred to by the name of the country in the local Celtic language; for example, Ireland is known as "Éire", Scotland as "Alba", Wales as "Cymru", Brittany as "Breizh", Cornwall as "Kernow" and the Isle of Man as "Mannin".

*flagicon|Brittany Brittany
*flagicon|Cornwall Cornwall
*flagicon|Ireland Ireland
*flagicon|Isle of Man Isle of Man
*flagicon|Scotland Scotland
*flagicon|Wales Wales

There is also an International Branch, and others based in the USA and London. There used to be a branch in Cape Breton Island, Canada, where a small Scottish Gaelic-speaking community still exists. Attempts to set up branches in Australia, and the Chubut Valley, Patagonia, (where there is a Welsh-speaking colony) have failed.


The Celtic League publishes a quarterly magazine, "Carn", which highlights political struggles and cultural preservation issues. The articles are produced in the six living Celtic languages (including Manx and Cornish) in addition to English. The cover of the magazine is a map of the six Celtic countries with their respective Celtic language names beside them. In the past, articles have appeared in French as well. For many years, "Carn" claimed to be the only regular publication carrying all six surviving Celtic languages.

The Celtic League, American Branch (CLAB) prints its own quarterly newsletter, "Six Nations, One Soul", [http://www.celticleague.org/six-nations.html 'Six Nations, One Soul'] published by The Celtic League, American Branch. Retrieved 7 December, 2007] which provides news of Branch activities and events within the Celtic communities in the United States, publishes letters from members, and reviews books and recordings of Celtic interest. It also produces its own calendar each year, with art from members, appropriate quotations and anniversaries. [http://www.celticleague.org/calendar.html The Celtic League Calendar] published by The Celtic League, American Branch. CLAB website. Retrieved 7 December, 2007]

Other Branches have published their own magazines from time to time, but few have been very long lived.


Founded in 1961, the present Celtic League grew out of various other Pan-Celtic organisations, particularly the Celtic Congress, but with a more political emphasis. Previously, the likes of Hugh MacDiarmid and others had suggested something along the same lines.

It was started at the 1961 National Eisteddfod which was held at Rhosllanerchrugog near Wrexham in north east Wales. Two of the founding members were Gwynfor Evans and J E Jones, who were respectively president and secretary-general of Plaid Cymru at the time. Interest was expressed by Scottish parties, and also by two prominent Breton exiles, Yann Fouéré and Alan Heusaff.

The Celtic League, American Branch (CLAB) was founded in New York City in 1974. It plays little parts in AGMs.

Notable Members and former Members

Some of the more notable past and present members of the Celtic League have been Plaid Cymru luminary Gwynfor Evans, Alan Heusaff, the historian and writer Peter Berresford Ellis, writer Bernard Le Nail, Manx language revivalist Brian Stowell, and Winnie Ewing, Robert McIntyre and Rob Gibson of the Scottish National Party.


The Celtic League also campaigns for the reunification of Ireland, and the return of the Loire-Atlantique départment to Brittany (see "Bretagne"). Over the years, the Celtic League has campaigned consistently in support of the languages in the Celtic Countries, and for the return of ancient artifacts, removed from Celtic countries to museums outside of these areas - amongst these are the Lewis Chessmen and the Chronicles of Mann. These campaigns have been conducted in various ways.

The Manx branch of the Celtic League successfully campaigned for the Calf of Man (island) to be transferred from the English National Trust to the Manx National Trust.

In the mid-1990s, the Celtic League started a campaign to have the word "Alba" on the Scottish football and rugby tops. Since 2005, the SFA have supported the use of Scots Gaelic on their teams's strip in recognition of the language's revival in Scotland. [cite news | url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/highlands_and_islands/5282936.stm | title = BBC Scotland - Gaelic added to Scotland strips] However, the SRU is still being lobbied to have "Alba" on the national rugby strip. [ [http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=31494006552 Scottish Rugby Union: "Put 'Alba' on Scottish Ruby Shirt" | Facebook ] ] [cite news | url = http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/alba/naidheachdan/story/2008/06/080624_rugby_gaelic.shtml | title = BBC Alba - Gàidhlig air lèintean rugbaidh na h-Alba]

The Celtic League has also passed a motion to support the general aims of Independence First, which aims for a referendum on Scottish independence. [http://www.independence1st.com/news/celtic_league_backs_if.shtml "Celtic League Supports Independence First"] . Independence First website. Retrieved 7 December, 2007]

Political Status of Countries

The political status of the various countries varies widely. Both the UK and France were traditionally very centralised states (although France more so).

The following Celtic nations have some degree of autonomy, although Ireland is still divided into two parts
* Republic of Ireland (26 counties) - independent.
* Northern Ireland (6 counties) - under the Good Friday Agreement some autonomy and various provisions were granted on a power-sharing basis, but various controversies between unionists and nationalists have caused the British government to rule directly. Northern Ireland now has its own devolved Assembly since 2007.
* The Isle of Man - home rule, a British Crown Dependency outside the UK & EU, arguably the oldest continuous parliament in the world, and certainly older than Westminster.
* Scotland - has had its own devolved Parliament since 1999.
* Wales - has had its own devolved Assembly since 1999.

There is also a campaign for a Cornish Assembly. In 2000 the Cornish Constitutional Convention launched the Declaration for a Cornish Assembly campaign. In less than two years, more than 50,000 people signed the Assembly petition and Lord Whitty, in the House of Lords, recognised that Cornwall has a "special case" for devolution. On a visit to Cornwall, John Prescott said "Cornwall has the strongest regional identity in the UK."

Thus three of the countries are completely within the United Kingdom, one partially, and another is a British dependency. Brittany is part of the French state, and does not have any legislative autonomy, but four "départements" have some financial autonomy as one of the Regions of France, whilst the fifth "département" is in another French region. The Republic of Ireland is completely independent.


AGMs are rotated around the six nations.

The Celtic League should not be confused with the similar organisation, the Celtic Congress, which tends to be purely cultural and apolitical.

Posts within the Celtic League

Nationality is indicated by letters after their names as so::B - Breton, C - Cornish, I -Irish, M - Manx, S - Scots, W - Welsh

An arrow indicates the editor later relocated to one of the other Celtic countries.

General secretaries of Celtic league

:Alan Heusaff†: (1961-84), B→I:J. Bernard Moffat: (1984-88), M:Davyth Fear: (1988-90), C:Séamas Ó Coileáin†: (1990-91), I:J. Bernard Moffat: (1991-2006), M:Rhisiart Tal-e-bot: (2006 - present), W

Editors of "Carn" (Established 1973)

:Frang MacThòmais: (1973-74), S:Pádraig Ó Snodaigh: (1974-77), I:Cathal Ó Luain: (1977-81), I:Pedyr Pryor: (1981-84), C:Pat Bridson: (1984-present), M→I

Other posts

The presidency and vice-presidency ran from (1961-71) and were since abolished. They were held by Gwynfor Evans (W) and Dr Robert McIntyre (S) respectively for the entire duration of the posts.

Pádraig Ó Conchúir (I) was chairman between (1972-78).

ee also

*Celtic Congress
*Celtic language
*Celtic nations
*List of Celts
*Modern Celts



* Ellis, Peter Berresford "The Celtic Dawn"
* Tanner, Marcus "Last of the Celts"

External links

* [http://www.celticleague.net/ Celtic League Website]
* [http://www.celticleague.org/ Celtic League, American Branch]
* [http://www.celtic-league.org/ Celtic League, International Branch]
* [http://alba-branch.tripod.com/ Celtic League, Scottish Branch]
* [http://www.mebyonkernow.org/?q=news/115 Mebyon Kernow demand Cornish Assembly]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Celtic League — The Celtic League can refer to either:* Celtic League (political organisation): An organisation founded in 1961, that seeks to advance the independence movements of the various Celtic nations, and forge links between them. * Celtic League (rugby… …   Wikipedia

  • Celtic Congress — The International Celtic Congress is a cultural organisation that seeks to promote the Celtic languagues of the nations of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall and the Isle of Man. It was formed out of previously existing bodies that had… …   Wikipedia

  • Celtic — The words Celt and Celtic can have a variety of meanings. Sometimes a pronunciation distinction is maintained see Pronunciation of Celtic. Pronounced /kelt(ik)/Relating to the ethnic, linguistic and cultural group*Celts or Modern Celts *Celtic… …   Wikipedia

  • Celtic languages — Infobox Language family name = Celtic region = Formerly widespread in Europe; today British Isles, Brittany, Patagonia and Nova Scotia familycolor = Indo European fam1 = Indo European child1 = Continental Celtic child2 = Insular Celtic… …   Wikipedia

  • Political Soldier — This article is part of the Third Position series. This series is linked to the Politics and Elections series Varieties of Third Positionism National Anarchism National Bolshevism National syndicalism Nazism Socialism with Chinese characteristics …   Wikipedia

  • Melbourne Celtic Club — The Melbourne Celtic Club is a social organisation for Melburnians of Celtic (Scots, Welsh or Irish) ancestry or descent.[1] Contents 1 Overview 2 Headquarters 3 Me …   Wikipedia

  • Breton Federalist League — The Breton Federalist League (la Ligue fédéraliste de Bretagne) was a short lived Breton political party in the 1930s. A new organization with the same name was created in the 21st century. OriginAt its congress on April 11, 1931, the Breton… …   Wikipedia

  • Alan Heusaff — (23 July 1921, Saint Yvy – 3 November 1999, Spiddal) was a Breton nationalist and linguist who helped lead the collaborationist militia Bezen Perrot in occupied Brittany during World War II. Biography His youth in Brittany Heusaff was born in… …   Wikipedia

  • Politics of Cornwall — Truro Redruth …   Wikipedia

  • Welsh nationalism — is a political and cultural movement that emerged during the nineteenth century. It generally seeks independence from the United Kingdom for Wales, an aspiration supported by around 12% of the electorate of Wales, [… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.