The Wales National Great Famine Memorial

A Memorial to all the victims of the Great Famine in Ireland (1845-1849) is to be erected in Cardiff. This will also be a Memorial to every person of Irish origin, without distinction on grounds of class, politics, allegiance or religious belief, who has ever died in Wales. A magnificent Celtic Cross, made in Ireland of Irish limestone (see photo on front cover), has been very generously donated by the Cardiff firm of Mossfords, monumental sculptors since 1821. It will be erected on a base of Welsh stone in the city’s Cathays Cemetery on a prominent site provided by Cardiff City and County Council.
The unveiling of the Wales Great Famine Memorial by a prominent public figure from Ireland in the early summer of 1999 will be the last in a programme of events arranged by the Wales Famine Forum since 1995 to mark the 150th anniversary of ‘The Great Hunger’ which claimed the lives of one million people and forced twice that number to seek refuge in other parts of the world. There was no county in Ireland, no religious denomination, no social or political class which did not bury its during that dreadful calamity.
Those forced into exile included many thousands who arrived in Wales and by the 1860s there were 73 Irish ghettos in Cardiff and Irish communities had also formed in other areas, in Newport, Merthyr Tydfil, Dowlais, Maesteg, Swansea, in ‘The Valleys’ of Glamorgan and Monmouthshire and in North Wales.
Donations are needed to raise the approximately £4,000 needed to complete this project which will include the placing of plaques on each of the four sides of the base of the Memorial. These plaques, made from Welsh slate, will have inscriptions in Irish, English, Welsh, and Latin as follows:

In Irish:

I gcuimhne ar íobartaigh an Ghorta Mhóir i nÉirinn, 1845-1849, agus ar na hÉireannaigh go léir is a sliocht a fuair bás sa Bhreatain Bhig.
Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha is anamacha na marbh.

Arna nochtadh ag…

In English:

In memory of the victims of the Great Famine in Ireland, 1845 - 1849, and of all Irish people and their descendants who have died in Wales.
May they rest in peace.

Unveiled by…

In Welsh:

Er cof am ddioddefwyr y Newyn Mawr yn Iwerddon, 1845-1849, a’r holl Wyddyl a’u disgynyddion a fu farw yng Nghymru.
Heddwch i’w llwch.
“Canys hwy a welant Dduw”.
Dadorchuddiwyd gan…

In Latin:

In memoriam Famis Magnae in Hibernia MCCMXLV - IX victimarum atque gentis Hiberniae prolisque omnium in Cambria mortuorum.
Requiescant in pace.
Quem… develavit.

You may wish to support this project in one of the following ways:

1) Subscribe to this magazine.
2) You may prefer to simply send any donation you feel appropriate (we venture to suggest a minimum of £Stg5-00) to:

Wales Famine Forum, c/o The Bank of Ireland, 106 St. Mary Street, Cardiff CF1 1DX.
Please send no cash through the post. Cheques etc. should be made payable to ‘Wales Famine Forum’.

We are a Registered Charity No. 1057587.

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Note:

The above is a slightly modified version of what was published in The Green Dragon No 7, Summer 1998. What follows was written in April, 1999.

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Note:

The Wales National Great Famine Memorial was unveiled during a public ceremony on St. Patrick's Day, 17 March, 1999. It now stands in a part of the 'Catholic Plot' of Cardiff's Cathays Cemetery. The inscriptions given above in draft form have been engraved on four plaques of Welsh slate mounted on each of the four faces of the base of Welsh stone on which the Celtic Cross in Irish limestone has been placed. The final text in each case is somewhat different to that given above. In addition, there are two further inscriptions, in English and Welsh only, which have been engraved on the cross itself. These six texts are as follows :

1. On the four plaques in Welsh slate:

Text in English:

In memory of the victims of the Great Famine in Ireland, 1845 - 1849, and of all Irish people and their descendants who have died in Wales.
May they rest in peace.

Text in Irish :

I gcuimhne orthu siúd a d'fhulaing le linn Ghorta Mór na hÉireann, 1845 -1849, agus ar na hÉireannaigh go léir is a sliocht a fuair bás sa Bhreatain Bheag.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamnacha is anamacha na marbh.

Text in Welsh :

Er cof am y rhai a ddioddefodd yn Newyn Mawr Iwerddon, 1845 -1849, a’r holl Wyddelod a’u disgynyddion a fu farw yng Nghymru.
Heddwch i’w llwch.

Text in Latin :

In memoriam victimarum Famis Magnae in Hibernia A.D. MDCCCXLV - MDCCCXLIX atque Hiberniensium omnium cum prole sua in Cambria sunt mortui.
Requiescant in pace.

2. On the the Celtic Cross :

In English :

During the years 1845 - 49 the potato crop in Ireland failed, a million people perished and almost twice as many fled their homeland. Thousands of refugees arrived in Wales. This memorial, erected by their descendants with the support of generous friends, is for them.

In Welsh :

Yn y blynyddoedd 1845 - 49 pallodd y cnwd tatws yn Iwerddon, trengodd miliwn o bobl a ffôdd bron i ddwyfaint mwy oddi cartref. Daeth miloedd o ffoaduriaid i Gymru. Trostynt hwy y cododd eu disgynyddion y gofeb hon gyda chymorth cyfeillion hael.

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