The International Celtic Congress is a cultural organisation that seeks to promote the Celtic languages of the nations of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall and the Isle of Man. The organisation is a non-political organisation and its stated object is to "... perpetuate the culture, ideals, and languages of the Celtic peoples, and to maintain an intellectual contact and close cooperation between the respective Celtic communities."
The Celtic Congress should not be confused with the similar organisation, the Celtic League which deals with political matters. Like the Celtic league, it tries to "hold... an annual international congress in one of the six Celtic countries, if possible according to a fixed rotation". The Celtic League itself, split off the Celtic Congress amicably, to pursue political aims, and many people are members of both.
There is an International Celtic Congress each year in one of the Celtic countries, working to a rota agreed beforehand. The 2014 Congress will be held in Cardiff.
There had even been two meetings of an Inter-Celtic Congress in 1838 and 1867 and from 1904 the Celtic Association had Cornish branch. In 1917 The Celtic Congress was formed from the merger of the Celtic Association and the Pan-Celtic Congress having its first meeting in 1917 at Birkenhead Eisteddfod. A Cornish branch was again represented from the 1920s. Meetings were irregular before World War II although in the 1920s, the National Party of Scotland (the forerunner of the modern Scottish National Party) sought involvement, and the then Taoiseach of Ireland, Éamon de Valera consented to be a patron of the organisation in the 1930s.
There had been an eleven-year gap before the August 1949 Celtic Congress at Bangor, Wales where delegates included Sir Ifor Williams and Conor Maguire, Chief Justice of Ireland. Meetings have been held almost every year since then.
- The Manchester Guardian CELTIC CONGRESS AT BANGOR: First for Eleven Years; 9 August 1949