Friday 17 March, 2006 — Saint Patrick’s Day
Commencing at 11.00 a.m.
The Great Famine in Ireland (1845‑1850) caused the loss of almost two and a half million
people who were forced to emigrate "to Heaven or overseas...".
Our thoughts will also be with the victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004, Hurricane Katrina in September 2005, the earthquake in Pakistan of October 2005, the mudslide in the Philippines of February 2006 and all victims of war, poverty and injustice.
1. Welcoming music by Fred Smow and his 78’s jazz band.
2. CD Recording of the American soprano, Renée Fleming singing Hard Times Come Again No More by Stephen Foster (1826 ‑ 1864).
3. Greetings, Wales Famine Forum Chairman John Sweeney.
4. Message by The Right Honourable The Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Councillor Freda Salway.
5. Message in Irish and English by Colm McGrady, Consul General for Ireland in Wales.
6. Message in Welsh and English by Lord Dafydd Elis‑Thomas Presiding Officer, National Assembly for Wales.
7. Côr Cochion Caerdydd (Cardiff Reds‘ Choir):Sliabh Geal gCua.
This song was originally composed in Irish as Sliabh Geal gCua by Pádraig Ó Miléadha (1877 – 1947),
an exile from the Decies area in West Waterford who lived in the Swansea Valley for about 20 years before and after WW1.
It gives exquisite and painful expression to the feelings of those forced by economic necessity to live far from their home, from their friends and from their language.
The choir will begin by singing two verses in Irish before singing all of the song in Welsh.
8. Reflections led by Rachel Corcoran, Cardiff University Catholic Society.
As a tribute to the victims of the tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and disasters in Pakista and in the Philippines, Fred Smow’s jazz band will play suitable music.
9. Address by Rev Aled Edwards, Chaplain to the National Assembly for Wales.
10. Liberty, sung by Côr Cochion.
11. Reading by Reverend Joseph Breidenbach I.C., Parish Priest, St Joseph’s, Cathays.
12. Laying of wreaths during which the Côr Cochion will sing Dona Nobis Pacem.
13. Pledge spoken in English and in Welsh by local school children.
14. Dave Burns, a son of Newtown, Cardiff’s Little Ireland, will sing: The Country I’m Leaving Behind
This beautiful and poignant song of exile comes from the former Irish community of Newtown in
Cardiff. Dave Burns was astonished to find that it was quite unknown in Ireland when he first visited
his ancestral homeland in the late 1960s.
Although its melody, style and words clearly indicate that it was written – possibly in Wales – by someone from Ireland, this is a song that echoes the deep feelings of hurt, displacement and loss felt by all emigrants no matter where they may have set out from.
15. Thank you by Wales Famine Forum Chairman John Sweeney.
16. The Côr Cochion will lead the singing of Amhrán na bhFiann, the National Anthem of Ireland, and Hen Wlad fy Nhadau, the National Anthem of Wales.
Dyred pan fynnych, cymer a welych,
A gwedi delych, tra fynnych trig!
Come whenever you wish, take what you see,
And once come, stay as long as you like!
(By Sypyn Cyfeiliog, 1340 ‑ 1390; translation: Professor Joseph P. Clancy).
We congratulate the Newtown Association who have established a Memorial Garden to Newtown – Cardiff’s Little Ireland – in Tyndall Street, Cardiff. Newtown was one of 71 Irish quarters listed in Cardiff in the 1881 Census. The area was demolished in the mid‑1960s.
We are grateful to the Cardiff Bereavement Services, who give full support to this annual service and who include the Memorial on their heritage trail, which also includes the grave of champion boxer Peerless Jim Driscoll, a son of Newtown, who is buried near the Famine Memorial.
A selection of related articles which may bring tears, smiles and some legitimate pride.
The Wales National Great Famine Memorial
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