The Green Dragon No 6, Spring 1998

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This is a scanned version of the original, including all of the illustrations.
In preparing it some spelling errors have been corrected and some changes made to the original text.

Editor's Introduction

A Great Famine Memorial

The Wales Famine Forum will disband in twelve months from now, following its final A.G.M. and the publication of the tenth and last edition of this magazine.
In our final year we are planning a monument in memory of those who died during the Famine. Mossfords Monumental Sculptors, Ely, Cardiff, have donated a Celtic Cross in Irish limestone for the purpose, a site in Cardiff has been agreed and we are waiting for permission to proceed. Once that is obtained we will ask individuals and organisations in all parts of Wales to join us in completing this project so that a worthy and dignified Wales Great Famine Memorial will become a reality.

Singing Together

On 4/2/98 over 300 people gathered at St. Brigid’s R.C. Church, Crystal Glen, Cardiff.
They were there to record a programme in the S4C series Dechrau Canu, Dechrau Canmol ('Beginning to Sing, Beginning to Praise').
Our thanks to Côr Plant Caerdydd('The Cardiff Childrens' Choir'), a choir drawn from the Welsh medium primary schools in the city and to the choir of St. Patrick’s R.C. Primary School, Grangetown. Led respectively by Mair Robins, Principal, Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Melin Gruffydd ('The Melingriffith Welsh Language Primary School'), and Miss C. Barry, the Principal of St. Patrick’s, these children, representing the Welsh and Irish traditions in this city, sang two hymns in Irish. The rest of the congregation, drawn from all denominations and representing all sections of the community, sang seven hymns in Welsh.
The service will be broadcast on S4C on Sunday 15 March at 7.30 p.m.

Bicentenary of 1798

a) To mark the anniversary Cardiff University, at the suggestion of the Wales Famine Forum, have arranged a ‘Study Day’ on the theme Visions of National Identity – Wales and Ireland. This will take place on Saturday 28 February at the Temple of Peace, Cathays Park, Cardiff.
b) RTÉ have issued a magnificent commemorative album. Entitled Who Fears to Speak (Catalogue No RTE MC209). Featured are a choir, orchestra and soloists singing some of those great songs which have made 1798 so unforgettable.

c) For background reading we recommend The Year of Liberty, a history by Englishman Thomas Pakenham and The Year of the French, a novel by Irish-American Thomas Flanagan. A strong stomach will be needed, for it was a bloody affair.

The History and The Craic

The Wales Famine Forum have arranged a coach trip to West Cork from 23 to 29 May to visit Famine and other historical sites and to experience 'The Craic' (the revelry of Irish pubs and other gathering places)!

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1. Summer of Sorrow: Grosse Île, 1847
The author of this major article, © Pádraig Breandán Ó Laighin, lectured in Quebec for a number of years. He now lives in Dublin. This essay, one of a series to mark the Great Famine anniversary, was originally broadcast in Irish on Raidió na Gaeltachta (the Irish language radio station) in 1995. It was later published, along with the texts of the other lectures in the series, in the book, Gnéithe den Ghorta ('Aspects of the Famine'), edited by Cathal Póirtéir. Dublin, © Coiscéim, 1995.
Translation ©: The Wales Famine Forum.


2. From Sligo to Merioneth
©: Einion Thomas, formerly Archivist, Merioneth Archives Service / Archifdy Meirionydd, Dolgellau, Gwynedd, North Wales.


3. The Altar Boy's Tale
©: Dan O’Neill, who wrote this piece especially for The Green Dragon, is a columnist with the South Wales Echo, Cardiff.


4. Catholic Cardiff: Past and Present
This otherwise interesting and informative survey by the Rev. J. M. Cronin, I. C., published in a 1922 edition of the St. Peter’s Magazine is notable for the absence of any reference to the Great Famine and the large-scale migration to South Wales which it caused.


5. Early Irish associations with Cardiff
Published in a 1922 edition of the St. Peter’s Magazine, Cardiff, and signed 'J.M.C.'


6. The first Irishmen in Cardiff in the 19th, Century
This survey was published anonymously in a 1922 edition of the St. Peter's Magazine, Cardiff.


7. St. David's Day
©: John O’Sullivan, a freelance journalist in Cardiff, who is a member of the Wales Famine Forum. This article tells how the modern celebration of St. David's Day on March 1 owes a great deal to a former Catholic Archbishop of Cardiff.


8. Irish Links with Frongoch
©: Lyn Ebenezer, journalist and broadcaster, lives in Aberystwyth. He is best known in connection with the S4C television series in Welsh, Hel Straeon ('Chasing Stories'). Frongoch in North Wales was the site of a prisoner-of-war camp to which Michael Collins and hundreds of others were taken after the Easter Rising in 1916.


9. Poem : Ferry to an Irish Funeral
This poem won the first prize at the South Wales Miners’ Eisteddfod at Porthcawl in 1996. The author, © Lynne Walsh, is married to a Wexfordman and lives near Bridgend, about 20 miles west of Cardiff.


10. The Exiled
A tribute to her Irish grandmother, Ellen Conway of Limerick, by Mrs. Olive O’Brien of Bexhill, East Sussex.


11. The Member from East Belfast
An account of the life of the late Tom Boyd MP, Leader of the Northern Ireland Labour Party in the old Stormont Parliament of Northern Ireland by his brother, © Sam H. Boyd, of Cwmbran, Gwent, South Wales.


12. United Kingdom Status
A speech by Thomas W. Boyd, Esq., J.P. , delivered in the Northern Ireland House of Commons, Stormont Castle, on Wednesday, 29th January, 1969.


13. Two Poems: Ulster and Bloody Sunday
©: David Adsett, 1972. Born in South Wales in 1937 he has lived in London, Liverpool and Dublin. He has worked as clerk, petrol pump attendant, porter, dishwasher, salesman, soldier, labourer, poet & writer. He now lives in semi- retirement in Cardiff.


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