The Celtic Bar Association of Orange County

History of the Celtic Bar of Orange County

The Celtic Bar of Orange County (CBA) was created from an idea Wylie Aitken had in the early 80's for an Orange County based Irish American bar association. Decades passed. As a new century dawned, Darren Aitken and Joseph Chairez took Wylie’s idea and expanded it to include all Celtic Nations and to operate as an affiliate of the Orange County Bar Association. The actual creation and first meeting of the CBA took place in Aruba, on October 31, 2000, while Darren and Joe were doing advance work for the OCBA's Aruba Travel Seminar that was to arrive a few days later. Darren pointed out that October 31 was the Celtic New Year (Halloween to non Celts), so both Darren and Joe both sported well appointed costumes to celebrate this important holiday. Later that evening, the concept for the CBA was formed and the first official meeting of the CBA (membership of two) took place that evening. When the OCBA group arrived, Joe and Darren ran the idea of the CBA by some of the attendees, such as Tom Prenovost, Scott Well, Judge Daniel Pratt and Judge Robert Jameson who quickly joined the fold. After returning to Orange County, Wylie arranged an initial planning meeting at the law offices of his old friend Ron Schwartz, conveniently located above Ron’s Muldoon's Restaurant in Newport Beach. Ron graciously donated a bottle of Jameson’s Irish Whiskey to the proceedings, thereby cementing the relationship between Muldoon’s and the CBA that exists to the present day. At a subsequent meeting in early 2001, several friends were invited to attend the founding “monthly” meeting of the CBA. Those that answered the early call to the CBA’s first monthly meeting are listed in the membership section of our website as “Founders”. The rest is history.

Meet The Celts!

Bagpiper with Celtic Flags

 

The Celtic Bar was formed to unite the descendents of the various Celtic nations, to honor the contributions that the Celts have made to American life in general, and the American legal system in particular.

There are seven recognized Celtic nations, which are:

Brittany Flag Brittany

Brittany is one of the 26 regions of France. It occupies a large peninsula in the northwest of the country, lying between the English Channel to the north and the Bay of Biscay to the south. Its capital is Rennes. The region of Brittany is made up of 80% of the former duchy and province of Brittany. The remaining 20% of Brittany is the Loire-Atlantique department which lies inside the Pays de la Loire region, with its capital Nantes, which was the historical capital of the duchy of Brittany. Part of the reason that Brittany was split between two modern day regions was to avoid the rivalry between Rennes and Nantes. People in Brittany and Nantes complain about the current division of Brittany and would like to see Loire-Atlantique joining the region of Brittany in order to reunify Brittany. However, reunification raises a couple of questions: first, what to do with the rump Pays de la Loire region, and second, which city should be chosen as the capital of this reunified Brittany region. Unlike the rest of France, Brittany has maintained a distinctly Celtic identity. Its name derives from the fact that much of its population is descended from settlers from Great Britain, who fled that island in the wake of the Anglo-Saxon conquest of England between the fifth and seventh centuries. Breton, a Celtic language (akin to Cornish and Welsh), was the dominant language of western Brittany until the mid-20th century. It has been granted regional language status and revival efforts are underway.

Cornwall Flag Cornwall

Cornwall is a county of England in the United Kingdom, forming the tip of the south-western peninsula of Great Britain. It is bordered to the north and west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Taken with the Isles of Scilly Cornwall has a population of 531,600. The administrative centre and only city is Truro. Cornwall was first inhabited by Neolithic and then Bronze Age peoples, and later (in the Iron Age) by Celts. Cornwall is part of the Brythonic (Celtic) area of Britain, separated from Wales after the Battle of Deorham, often coming into conflict with the expanding English Kingdom of Wessex before King Athelstan in 936 A.D. set the boundary between English and Cornish people at the Tamar. The area is noted for its wild moorland landscapes, its extensive and varied coastline and its mild climate. Cornwall is the homeland of the Cornish people and diaspora, and is recognized as one of the "Celtic nations" by many residents and organizations. It continues to retain its distinct identity, with its own history, language and culture. Some inhabitants question the present constitutional status of Cornwall, and a self-government movement seeks greater autonomy within the UK. The Cornish language is closely related to Welsh and Breton, and less so to Irish, Scots Gaelic and Manx. The language continued to function as a community language in parts of Cornwall until the late 18th century, and there has been a revival of the language since Henry Jenner's "Handbook of the Cornish Language" was published in 1904. A study in 2000 suggested that there were around 300 people who spoke Cornish fluently. Cornish however has no legal status in the UK. Nevertheless, the language is taught in about 12 primary schools, and occasionally used in religious and civic ceremonies. In 2002, Cornish was officially recognized as a UK minority language.

Galicia Flag Galicia

Galicia is a historical autonomous community in northwest Spain, with the status of a historical nationality, and was one of the first kingdoms of Europe (Kingdom of Galicia). It borders Portugal to the south, the Spanish regions of Castile and León and Asturias to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and Cantabric Sea to the north. The name Galicia comes from the Latin name Gallaecia, associated with the name of the ancient Celtic tribe that resided above the Douro river, the Gallaeci or Callaeci in Latin, and Kallaikoi in Greek (these tribes were mentioned by Herodotus). Before the Roman invasion, a series of tribes lived in the region, and according to Strabo, Pliny, Herodotus and others, they shared similar Celtic customs. The Milesians, who in Irish legendary history were the final wave of invaders to settle Ireland, were Celts from Galicia. In the 5th century AD invasions, Galicia fell to the Suevi in 411, who formed the first medieval kingdom to be created in Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire. In 584, the Visigothic King Leovigild invaded the Suebic kingdom of Galicia and defeated it, bringing it under Visigoth control. During these period a British colony-bishopric was established in Northern Galicia (Britonia) populated by Briton immigrants escaping the Anglo-Saxon invasion. During the Moorish invasion of Spain (711-718), the Moors never managed to have any real control over Galicia, and this situation remained unchanged up until 739 when Alfonso I of Asturias successfully drove them out and Galicia was finally assimilated for good to the Kingdom of Asturias. Galicia is a land of economic contrast. While the western coast, with its major population centers and its fishing and manufacturing industries, is prosperous and increasing in population, the rural hinterland are economically dependent on traditional agriculture, based on small landholdings called minifundios. However, the rise of tourism, sustainable forestry and organic and traditional agriculture are bringing other possibilities to the Galician economy without compromising the preservation of the natural resources and the local culture.

Ireland Flag Ireland

Ireland is the third largest island in Europe, and the 20th largest island in the world. The first settlements in Ireland date from 8000 BC. By 200 BC, Celtic migration and influence had come to dominate the island. Relatively small-scale settlements of both the Vikings and Normans in the Middle Ages gave way to complete English domination by the 1600s. Protestant English rule resulted in the marginalisation of the Catholic majority, although in the north-east, Protestants were in the majority due to the Plantation of Ulster. Ireland became part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801. A famine in the mid-1800s caused large-scale death and emigration. The Irish War of Independence ended in 1921 with the British Government proposing a truce and during which the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed, creating the Irish Free State. This was a Dominion within the British Empire, with effective internal independence but still constitutionally linked with the British Crown. Northern Ireland, consisting of six of the 32 Irish counties which had been established as a devolved region under the 1920 Government of Ireland Act, immediately exercised its option under the treaty to retain its existing status within the United Kingdom. The Free State left the Commonwealth to become a republic in 1949. In 1973 both parts of Ireland joined the European Community. Conflict in Northern Ireland led to much unrest from the late 1960s until the 1990s, which subsided following a peace deal in 1998. The population of the island is slightly over 6 million (2006), with 4.5 million in the Republic and an estimated almost 1.75 million in Northern Ireland. This is a significant increase from a modern historic low in the 1960s, but still much lower than the peak population of over 8 million in the early 19th century, prior to the Great Famine.

Isle of Man Flag Isle Of Man

The Isle of Man is a self-governing Crown dependency, located in the Irish Sea at the geographical centre of the British Isles. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Crown is represented by a Lieutenant Governor. The island is not part of the United Kingdom but foreign relations, defence, and ultimate good-governance of the Isle of Man are the responsibility of the government of the United Kingdom. Inhabited for millennia, the island gradually became a Celtic-Norse community as the Norse settled there, starting about AD 850. This has left a legacy ranging from the Tynwald parliament to many local place names. After a period of alternating rule by the kings of England and Scotland, the Manx came under the feudal over-lordship of the English Crown. The lordship revested into the British Crown in 1764 but the island never became part of the United Kingdom and retained its status as an internally self-governing jurisdiction. Tynwald, the island's parliament, was nominally founded in AD 979. It is arguably the oldest continuous parliament in the world. The annual ceremonial meeting in July on Tynwald Day, the island's national day, continues to be held at Tynwald Hill, where titles are announced and a brief description of the new laws enacted by Tynwald during the previous year is given.

Scotland Flag Scotland

Scotland, or Alba, is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the southwest. In addition to the mainland, Scotland consists of over 790 islands including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides. Edinburgh, the country's capital and second largest city, is one of Europe's largest financial centers. Edinburgh was the hub of the Scottish Enlightenment of the 18th century, which transformed Scotland into one of the commercial, intellectual and industrial powerhouses of Europe. Glasgow, Scotland's largest city, was once one of the world's leading industrial cities and now lies at the centre of the Greater Glasgow conurbation. Scottish waters consist of a large sector of the North Atlantic and the North Sea, containing the largest oil reserves in the European Union. The Kingdom of Scotland was an independent sovereign state before 1 May 1707 when it entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England to create the united Kingdom of Great Britain. This union resulted from the Treaty of Union agreed in 1706 and enacted by the twin Acts of Union passed by the Parliaments of both countries, despite widespread protest across Scotland. Scotland's legal system continues to be separate from those of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland and Scotland still constitutes a distinct jurisdiction in public and in private law. The continued independence of Scots law, the Scottish education system, and the Church of Scotland have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and Scottish national identity since the Union. Although Scotland is no longer a separate sovereign state, the constitutional future of Scotland continues to give rise to debate.

Wales Flag Wales

Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom, bordered by England to its east, and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It is also an elective region of the European Union. Wales has a population estimated at three million and is officially bilingual, with both Welsh and English having equal status; the majority use English as their first language. Wales is considered one of the Celtic nations, and a distinct Welsh national identity emerged in the early fifth century, after the Roman withdrawal from Britain. The 13th-century defeat of Llewelyn by Edward I completed the Anglo-Norman conquest of Wales and brought about centuries of English occupation. Wales was subsequently incorporated into England with the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542, creating the legal entity known today as England and Wales. However, distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century, and in 1881, the Welsh Sunday Closing Act became the first legislation applied exclusively to Wales. In 1955, Cardiff was proclaimed as national capital and in 1999 the National Assembly for Wales was created, which holds responsibility for a range of devolved matters. The capital Cardiff is Wales's largest city with 317,500 people. For a period it was the biggest coal port in the world and, for a few years before World War I, handled a greater tonnage of cargo than either London or Liverpool. Two-thirds of the Welsh population live in South Wales, with another concentration in eastern North Wales. Many tourists have been drawn to Wales's "wild... and picturesque" landscapes. From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the "land of song", attributable in part to the revival of the eisteddfod tradition. Actors, singers and other artists are celebrated in Wales today, often achieving international success. Cardiff is the largest media centre in the UK outside of London. Llywelyn the Great founded the Principality of Wales in 1216. Just over a hundred years after the Edwardian Conquest, Owain Glyndŵr briefly restored independence in the early 15th century, to what was to become modern Wales. Traditionally, the British Royal Family have bestowed the courtesy title of 'Prince of Wales' upon the heir apparent of the reigning monarch.


The Celtic Bar Association of Orange County · 3 MacArthur Place Suite 800, Santa Ana, CA 92707 phone: (714) 434-1424