NEWS FROM CELTIC PRESS
Members of the Cymru Branch helped to organise a commemoration at Fron-goch recently, to remember those who had been interned at the infamous prison in the north of Wales.
The Cymru Branch Information Officer, Aled Cottle, sent the following report.
“On Easter Sunday a group of people, some local, some from much further afield congregated at the commemoration stone in the village of Fron-goch, near Bala in North Wales to lay Easter Lilies in remembrance of the 1,800 Irish prisoners who were interned in a camp there following the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin. Although most evidence of the existence of such a prisoner camp has been erased and swept under the carpet decades ago, a few original buildings still survive today and are now homes to local families.
“Michael Collins was one of the famous Irish men to be imprisoned here, a leading figure in establishing what is today referred to as the ‘University of Revolution’.
“We congregated to remember, but also to learn more about the history of the camp. I would like to thank local historian Elwyn Edwards for his fascinating talk about the prison, and for pointing out the precise locations of the old buildings that were once home to hundreds of Irish Patriots. He also talked about the history of the old Welsh Whisky works that used to stand on the same fields at Fron-goch. We heard from locals that Irish visitors often pass Fron-goch in search of old prison bricks that were buried in the fields during the camp’s demolition.
“We observed a minute’s silence in remembrance of all those who were interned here and those who lost their lives there.
“I would like to also thank Jeff O’Carroll, Secretary of Cairde na hÉireann Liverpool (Friends of Ireland) who read out the Proclamation of the Provisional Irish Government to the people of Ireland, as happened in Dublin back in 1916.
“Thanks also to Andy Pierce for reading an interesting piece about the prisoner’s lives and experiences.
“Finally, thanks to Adam Philips from the Celtic League for organising this event.
“Since this commemoration, I read in the local press that a group of around 50 people travelled over from Ireland to lay a wreath at Fron-goch. The trip was organised by the ‘1916-1921 Club’, which was founded in the 1940s in an attempt to heal the divisions created by the Irish Civil War. The visiting group included family members of those Irish prisoners, and many of them were visiting Fron-goch for the first time.”
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The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues.