• October 18, 2015


Ten years ago Liverpool was told ‘they can keep their apology’ – today the decision to flood the Tryweryn valley is still as controversial!

It is still an emotive issue is Wales and you can still seesigns today in parts of North and mid Wales reminding Welsh people of the senseof outrage felt when the Welsh speaking community in the Tryweryn Valley wassubmerged to provide a reservoir to service Merseyside

Today hundreds of people attended a rally to commemoratethe sad day when the valley and the tiny village of Capel Celynwere wiped of the face of the earth by English insensitivity towards theWelsh.

The anger is still palpable and three men who took directaction by bombing the reservoir have also spoken out not just about the eventsat the time but how Waleshas developed since.

Tryweryn is believed to have been the catalyst for therevival of the fortunes of Welsh nationalism and Plaid Cymru in particular andthe events together with later protests over the Welsh language are believed tohave led directly to the establishment of the Welsh Assembly

Owain Williams who tried to blow up infrastructure at the reservoiris however sceptical of Walesnew powers. He believes the wave of nationalism inspired by the controversy haswon little more than what he describes as a “spineless Assembly with no realpowers”.

Mr Williams, who was jailed for blowing up a transformer onthe site of the reservoir, also questioned whether Wales’ control over its own affairsis any greater now than when he planted the bomb in February 1963.

Mr Williams now 80 said he and fellow activists like EmyrLlywelyn Jones, who was also jailed over the bombing, expected the Welsh to“wake up and shake themselves out of the shackles of imperialism and neo-colonialism”.

However he questioned if things had really changed saying ‘Ithink the Welsh nation has been hoodwinked by having this spineless Assembly,which has no real powers.”

Next Wednesday will mark the 50th anniversary of the openingof the controversial reservoir which was created to supply drinking waterfor Liverpool. Ten years ago (2005) LiverpoolCouncil tried to make amends by offering an apology for what happened at thetime. However although some politicians in Wales accepted the apology otherswere less forgiving.

Betty Watkin-Hughes, whose family was forcibly moved fromCapel Celyn, said: “I think nothing of it, it is just away to say goodbyeand sweep it all under the carpet.

“They can keep their apology and start doing what’sright for the people who are left.”

It seems that in respect of Tryweryn for the people of Wales time isnot ‘a great healer’ as evidenced by the hundreds who turned out today toremember today!

Note: S4C will have programmes on this week remembering theevents. Tomorrow afternoon (Sunday) a programme about the bombing campaignagainst the dam will be broadcast.


Issued by: The Celtic News



The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries.It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range ofpolitical, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rightsabuse, military activity and socio-economic issues


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