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The thermal neutron detection, X-ray detection, gamma detection and the optical properties of the chloride scintillator Li3YCl6:Ce are reported. Photo-luminescence (PL) and luminescence excitation spectra together with X-ray excited emission studies provide information on the scintillation and luminescence mechanism. Thermal neutron scintillation performance was investigated and compared with the performance of scintillators like Rb2LiYBr6:Ce and Cs2LiYCl6:Ce from the elpasolite family. The estimated absorption length for thermal neutrons (1.8 Å wavelength or 25 meV energy) is 0.8 mm in 95 % 6Li-enriched Li3YCl6:Ce.