The Green Dragon No 9, Winter 1999/2000

Read the published edition in pdf format

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: Ireland Boys Hurrah!

We go to press on the threshold of a new millennium and even if, tragically, there is not peace on earth we may be grateful indeed that there does at last seem to be ‘peace in Erin’. Shouting has begun to replace shooting in Northern Ireland and real politics is making an unsteady but definite start in that previously tormented region.

Meanwhile in the Republic of Ireland they have never had it so good and the credit cards are flashing by the tens of thousands as they go for the biggest Christmas shopping spree in the nation’s history. Hundreds of Welsh workers now commute from Holyhead to well-paid jobs in Dublin and the booming east coast area while travellers return as from a fabled land telling of enormous houses, roads choked with limousines, four vacancies for every job seeker and hotels and bars staffed by people from eastern Europe and other less favoured climes.

Sadly, however, many Irish people now display open hostility to immigrants saying they are not genuine ‘refugees’ from death-dealing tyrannies but ‘economic migrants’ looking for a share of the Irish action. Prosperous and even not-so-prosperous people in ‘Ireland of the welcomes’ have forgotten or no longer want to remember the 6 million Irish people who left Ireland seeking a better life for themselves and their families between the start of the Great Famine in 1845 and the end of large-scale emigration in the 1960s. No, the Irish were not welcome either but they were accepted, however grudgingly, and have become part of the success stories of their adopted homelands in Great Britain (including Wales), in North America, in Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere.

If they weather the resentment and hostility they now face on the Green Island the new settlers, wherever they have come from, will in their turn become part of Ireland’s success story in the new century – a success that now bids fair to include all 32 counties.

The end of the old year, century and millennium will mark the official end of the Great Famine Commemoration in Ireland and overseas. However, the Wales Famine Forum will continue in existence for at least another year as our plans for 2000 AD on the back page will show.


The next edition of The Green Dragon (No. 10, August, 2000) will be the last. We hope to include an index to all 10 editions as well as to the 2 editions of its Welsh twin, Y Ddraig Werdd. Consideration will also be given to indexing the four editions of An Briathar Saor published in Cardiff between 1994 and 1996 by Comhluadar Caerdydd, the Irish language society which arranged the public meeting in November, 1994 which led to the formation of the Wales Famine Forum.


Please note:

The copyright symbol © means that the holder expressly claims full intellectual ownership of the document in question. You may download all or part of it for private use or study but may not publish it elsewhere (including any other website) without the express written consent of the copyright owner. To do so is not only unethical / un-netical but is also illegal.


Contents

1.© The Great Famine Memorial in Cardiff
This is an account of the dedication of the new Famine Memorial in Cardiff on St. Patrick’s Day, 1999. Journalist and local historian © John O’Sullivan reports.©

*************************

2.The Famine Cross
When the Great Famine Memorial was dedicated in Cardiff earlier this year © Sister Breda Gainey S.S.J.A. was there. This poem records her reactions.

*************************

3.© Irish Foreign Minister in Cardiff
Among the visitors to Cardiff for the opening of the new Welsh Assembly was Irish Foreign Minister, David Andrews. Journalist and local historian © John O’Sullivan reports.

*************************

4.Newtown Memorial
The Newtown Association plans a memorial to the people of that former Irish community at the city end of Cardiff Bay.

*************************

5.Padraig Pearse the Bard
The leader of the 1916 Easter Rising was made a member of the Welsh Gorsedd of Bards in 1899. In 1999 a plaque to mark the event was unveiled in Cardiff.

*************************

6. © Respectable and Sober? Irish Immigrants in Wales, 1850–1890
Historian Dr. Paul O’Leary shows how after the Great Famine the Irish in Wales began to organise themselves as they strove for social acceptance.

*************************

7.© James Ebeneser Bicheno
Dr. J.H.Thomas has researched this account of James Ebenezer Bicheno, a distinguished lawyer and botanist whose life linked England, Wales, Ireland and Van Diemen’s Land.

*************************

8.© Christmas with the Kellys
Patrick Murphy of Cardiff spent one Christmas in Australia on the trail of the legendary Ned Kelly and his family.

*************************

9.© The Great Famine in Connacht 1845 – 1849
Fr. Liam Swords of the Diocese of Achonry records the extreme suffering of the men, women and children of the West.

*************************

10.© James Clarence Mangan,
Cardiff-based Patrick Egan (from Westmeath) remembers the Dublin poet, author of ‘My Dark Rosaleen’, who died of cholera on 20 June, 1849.

*************************

11.© Welsh Calvinists in Connacht
Archivist Einion Thomas relates how two missionary representatives from Wales went on a trip to Connaught shortly after the Great Famine.

*************************

12. ‘Dúchán na bPrátaí / The Blackened Potatoes
There are not many records in the Irish language of the Great Famine. However, this poem, collected in Galway in the 1930s, is one of them. Text in Irish Gaelic with translation in English.

*************************

13.The Doolough Great Famine Walk
This event has taken place in May every year since 1988. The last one of all took place on Saturday May 15 1999…

*************************

14.© Tarmacwyr/Tarmac Men.
Myrddin ap Dafydd’s poetic tribute to seasonal migrants who make an annual trip from the west of Ireland to North Wales. Text in Welsh with an English translation.

*************************

15.© Joseph McNicholas R.I.P.
From County Mayo, he died in Pontypridd, South Wales, in April, 1999. His daughter Stephanie remembers him .

*************************

16.© Food for the Starving
Doreen McBride tells us something of the Great Famine in County Down.

*************************

17. Some facts about Third World debt.
A statement by CAFOD.

*************************

18. © Drumcree via Garvaghy Road
Meic Peterson recalls how a choir from Cardiff watched the Orange Order march in 1997.

*************************

19. © Foot-dragging on Path to Peace
Cwmbran-based Belfastman Sam Boyd looks at the final six months of the peace process in Northern Ireland.

*************************

20. © Two Languages for God’s Praise
Barry Tobin thinks that a service in Welsh and English in a Catholic Church in Cardiff in 1999 offers hope of greater integration of Catholics into Welsh Wales.

*************************

21. © Will you Walk with Us a Little Way?
William J. Matthias describes the old pilgrimage from Llantarnam Abbey in Gwent to the shrine of Our Lady in Penrhys in the Rhondda, recently revived on an ecumenical basis.

*************************

22. © Beyond the Glitter: a look at some current Irish writers
David Reid considers some important figures on Ireland’s literary landscape.

*************************

23. © Plant yr Almaen /The Children of Germany
Immediately after World War Two there was famine in parts of Germany. This poem by ‘Gwenallt’ brings it home to us. Text in Welsh with translation in English.

*************************

24. Future Events
The Wales Famine Forum will continue in existence at least until the end of 2000.

*************************

The Green Dragon

Magazines of Irish / Welsh interest

Leathanach Baile / Hafan / Home Page