St. Patrick’s Day 2000 : Ceremony of Remembrance and Reflection

A special ceremony took place at the Wales National Great Famine Memorial, Cathays Cemetery, Cardiff on Friday 17 March, 2000, St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick, whose feastday is celebrated in church, street, pub, disco and dancehall in almost every country in the world, has become probably the best known and best loved Brit ever, one of the unexpected results of the extraordinary Irish diaspora that began at the time of the Great Famine (1845 - 49).


From 11.00 a.m.

1. Address of Welcome: John Sweeney, Chairman, Wales Famine Forum.

2. Reading in Irish and English : Na Fataí Bána (‘The White Potatoes’:

Conor O'Riordan, Consul General of Ireland in Wales.

3. A reading of the Beatitudes (Matthew 5, 1 – 12) as follows:

a) In Irish: Richard Lewis, Cardiff University Welsh Language Teaching Centre, representing Comhluadar Caerdydd The Cardiff Irish group who arranged a public meeting in November, 1994, which led to the formation of the Wales Famine Forum.

b) In Welsh: The Rev. Matthew Hill, Curate at St. Michael's (Church in Wales) Church, Cathays, Cardiff, representing the Right Reverend Dr. Barry Morgan, Bishop of Llandaff.

c) In English: Reverend Canon Patrick Daly, Parish Priest, All Hallows RC Church, Llantrisant, Pontyclun, representing His Grace J.A. Ward, RC Archbishop of Cardiff.

4. Famine: Then and Now - a Meditation :

Dr.Harri Pritchard -Jones

5. One minute's silence.

6. Ecumenical service conducted by clergy representing the various churches in Wales.

7. Wreath-laying ceremony: Mary Newman of the Wales Famine Forum, and Paul Burns of the Newtown Association.

8. Closing Ceremony. 9. Hymn: Hail Glorious St. Patrick.

10. Dispersal.

Master of Ceremonies : Chris Daly, who normally performs this function every Sunday in St. David's RC Cathedral, Charles Street, Cardiff.

The ceremony was followed by a ‘wake’ at St. Peter’s Rugby Club, 118 Newport Road, Cardiff with suitable refreshments and with entertainment memorably provided by Dave Burns and Frank Hennessy of 'The Hennessys' Welsh/Irish folk group. Almost all of the 60 people present had a taste of 'Patrick's Pot'!


A report from the Irish Times

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