We tend to relate political trials these days to Putin’s Russia but thirty years ago this month there was an intensive political trial in Wales involving three defendants. The accused were said to be members of Meibion Glyndwr although they emphatically denied it. The Security Service (MI5) who were involved in the case and for the first time gave evidence in court behind screens saw it as a first victory against Meibion Glyndwr who they had been seeking for well over a decade. However the truth is no one ever cracked Meibion Glyndwr and the attacks they made resulted in no convictions of substance.
We reported on the case in Carn 82 that Summer (Page 11);
After the trial only one man was convicted, Sion Aubrey Roberts, which was interesting in itself because Roberts, twenty one years old, would have been a child of seven years old when the Glyndwr campaign startedd.
During the trial there were references to MI5 agents breaking into homes, planting bugging devices and evidence. At times iit seemed the forces of law were bigger criminals than those alleged against in the dock
A two years ago Sion ( who served eight years) speaking to Wales Online said of the times:
“We had no language law and every other week you’d hear about a Welsh person getting the sack because they spoke Welsh in their workplace. Local councils were rejecting planning applications for houses that would be too expensive for local people and yet the Welsh Office would overrule that – the houses were built, English home owners bought them, Welsh-speaking families were pushed out of their communities and the Welsh language was in danger.”
Image: Sion Aubrey Roberts being led away to start a 12 year sentence. Twenty one years old he never denied being a nationalist or member of Y Cyfamodwyr (Covenanters), but he said he was not a member of Meibion Glyndwr and indeed when their campaign started he would have been seven years old!
AGS Celtic League (16th February 2023)