Historical records of the Isle of Man branch of the Celtic League

Scope and Content

The content consists of the general secretary’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) reports, Celtic League (and branch) news, Celtic League poster campaigns, correspondence with governments (including the Manx and Irish) and political parties such as the Scottish National Party (SNP), details of the campaign to permanently preserve the medieval manuscript the Chronicles of the Kings of Mann and the Isles in the Isle of Man, correspondence regarding Human Rights and a campaign to cease the abolishment of the chair of Celtic studies at the Humboldt University of Berlin. Other material relates to matters such as the monitoring of submarine fishing vessel accidents in the Irish Sea, campaigns against military communication facilities used by Ministry of Defence in the Isle of Man and Celtic League opposition to the Jurby sea bombing range. Files opposing munitions and radiation waste in the Irish Sea are included. Information regarding the Isle of Man fishing industry and the Island’s limits, Hawk aircraft training at Ronaldsway airport, Ballasalla, the nuclear site Sellafied Ltd, Cumbria and the nuclear industry in general are further topics within this deposit.

Other material relates to the aircraft tragedy off Aberporth missile range, the sea tragedy involving the Northern Irish fishing vessel the Amber Rose shipwrecked off the Calf of Man and a report of the Aer Lingus Viscount accident near Tuskar Rock, Ireland. Further material includes a report from the Japanese Parliament (2002) titled an ‘Investigation about Application of Status of (military) Forces Agreement (United States of America)’. It refers to the Isle of Man with regards to the ban of low altitude flight of military planes, for this section the author of the report was assisted by the Manx branch of the Celtic League. A series of numbered scrapbooks of newspaper cuttings, a photograph of the British submarine HMS Porpoise (after it had collided with and sunk the Irish trawler Sharelga) and video footage of the wrecked Scottish fishing vessel the Mhairi-L are also included.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Celtic League is a pan-Celtic non-governmental organisation founded in 1961 by Celtic nationalists who wanted a Celtic organisation with a political dimension focused on the Celtic community, culture, history and language. The six Celtic nations involved are Alba (Scotland), Breizh (Brittany), Cymru (Wales), Éire (Ireland), Kernow (Cornwall) and Mannin (Isle of Man) which together form the six official branches of the Celtic League. Three territorial branches are located in England, the USA and Patagonia (Argentina), with a further international branch. The League conduct their business through branch and central level, as well as publishing a quarterly a magazine called CARN (established 1973) and a regular Celtic League news service. Its aims and objectives are to fundamentally secure the political, cultural, social and economic freedom of the six nations (as stated in their constitution) which they propose will be achieved by:

  • Fostering co-operation between Celtic peoples.
  • Developing the consciousness of the special relationship and solidarity between them.
  • Making their national struggles and achievements better known abroad.
  • Campaigning for a formal association of Celtic nations to 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 its people.

Alongside its campaign for the political, language, cultural and social rights of the Celtic nations, the Celtic League also highlights human rights abuses, monitors military activities and focuses on political, socio-economic, environmental, language and cultural issues throughout the world, usually specifically connected to one of the Celtic countries. The operation of the Celtic League at the central level consists of the convener, general secretary, assistant general secretary, director of information, treasurer and the editor of CARN. Each respective national, territorial and international branch has a secretary elected at the Annual General Meetings (AGM). The different branches regularly work in co-operation with each other on various issues closely co-ordinated by the general secretary. The Celtic League’s General Council is made up of the central and branch office holders, with the branch officials elected at the branch level Annual General Meetings (AGM) while the central officials elected are elected at the Celtic League’s AGM.

Access Information

No regulations or restrictions are implemented on this material.

Advance notification of a research visit is advisable by emailing library@mnh.gov.im

Archivist's Note

The biographical information was gathered from the web site https://www.celticleague.net/

Fonds-level description created by Eleanor Williams (MNH Project Archivist), January 2016.

Related Material

The Central Celtic League Archive is deposited with the National Library of Wales at Aberystwyth. Reference code: GB 0210 CELTLG.

Other material held by Manx National Heritage relating to Manx nationalism includes numerous library resources and the archival papers of the Isle of Man political party Mec Vannin. Reference number: MS 09618.