The Heroes of Ireland and Wales

How can such a small nation have so many iconic locations and modern day heroes concentrated in such a small area? I’ve just returned from a holiday in Ireland where I was also taking the opportunity to research some of the history associated with the internment of 1800 Irish prisoners in Fron Goch internment camp near Bala.

James Larkin outside GPO DublinAs a passionate student of Welsh history, I am inordinately envious of the Irish people every time I visit Dublin. I stood outside the General Post Office in O’Connell Street and looked at the statue of Jim Larkin, probably Ireland’s greatest trade unionist. Somehow I can’t see a statue of a really great trade unionist appearing in Parliament Square in London anytime soon. Straight across the road was another statue of the great Irish writer James Joyce.

Dublin is full of buildings and open spaces that are tingling with the inspirational history of people and events that have shaped that nation. Everybody knows the Post Office as the focal point for the 1916 Easter Rising, but a mile or so away is the beautiful St Stephen’s Green, anather major site associated with the Rising. Then there’s  Kilmainham Gaol and Glasnevin Cemetery, both dripping with history.

Nye BevanI could go on at length about people and places in Ireland that have inspired me. However, it always leads me to a sense of sadness that we don’t have the people and places here in Wales that cause people to be excited, motivated, energised and inspired like those in Ireland. I know there are glorious exceptions to this principle and names like Owain Glyndŵr, Aneurin Bevan and Robert Owen spring to mind – three great people who shaped this nation. If you look at the list of 100 Welsh heroes , they are numbers 1,2 and 9 respectively. There are many people whose names are near the top of the list that have achieved much in their field but have not shaped the nation of Wales. For example, number 3 on this list is Tom Jones,  Richard Burton 5, and Catherine Zeta Jones, 9 – talented certainly, but hardly changing the direction of this nation.

I probably should have included Gwnyfor Evans (4), whose political party I don’t support, but he certainly was key to bringing about S4C, the Welsh TV channel and he underpinned support for the Welsh language. Others like Dylan Thomas (7),  David Lloyd George (8) were great Welshmen, but their contribution was much wider than just the land of Wales.

There is is similar difficulty in identifying locations which are focal points for pivotal points in our history. We have a string of castles built suit to subdue the Welsh people, so they are hardly suitable, but I couldn’t think of a single place where one would make a sort of pilgrimage to salute individuals who had shaped our history.

National Mining MemorialIt was at that point a light came on. Most of our heroes have gone unmarked in history. They are the hundreds of thousands of miners that worked underground to bring coal to fuel a nation that went on to build the biggest empire the world had ever known. They are the quarrymen bringing the granite and slate to produce the cobblestones and the roofs of roads and houses throughout Europe. They are the foundry workers who worked in the iron and steel works building the ships and railways of the world. They are the true heroes of Wales, that shaped not just this nation, but the United Kingdom and many other nations.

And places of pilgrimage? A cemetery in Aberfan where many of the 144 victims of the 1966 disaster are buried; memorials in Senghenydd, Gresford, Cilfynydd, Abercarn  and in so many towns and villages where countless thousands of miners died in pit accidents or through the lingering death of pneumoconiosis, silicosis or emphysema. Yes, Cymru Bach is a land of heroes.

18,846 comments on “The Heroes of Ireland and Wales

  1. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this website. I really hope to check out the same high-grade content from you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my very own website now 😉

  2. Hi! I could have sworn Iíve been to this site before but after going through many of the articles I realized itís new to me. Anyhow, Iím definitely pleased I found it and Iíll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!

  3. The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it does not disappoint me just as much as this one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read through, nonetheless I really thought you would have something useful to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you weren’t too busy looking for attention.

  4. May I simply say what a relief to discover someone that actually knows what they’re discussing on the internet. You definitely realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More and more people really need to look at this and understand this side of your story. I was surprised you’re not more popular since you most certainly have the gift.

  5. This is the perfect website for anybody who really wants to understand this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally would want toÖHaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a topic that’s been discussed for a long time. Great stuff, just great!

  6. Your style is so unique in comparison to other people I’ve read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this blog.

  7. Hi, I do believe this is an excellent site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I’m going to come back once again since I book-marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.

  8. After checking out a few of the blog posts on your blog, I really appreciate your technique of writing a blog. I book marked it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back in the near future. Please check out my web site as well and let me know what you think.

  9. Iím impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a blog thatís both educative and interesting, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is something too few people are speaking intelligently about. Now i’m very happy that I came across this in my hunt for something concerning this.

  10. You ought to always keep in mind that taking good care of your dog quite a bit of function. The same as taking care of a youngster, your pet must have what it requirements therefore it can make it through. It might be difficult, though with the correct details, you can accomplish it. This bit is a superb useful resource for helping you treatment appropriately for almost any dog.

  11. Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Taking the time and actual effort to generate a very good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I put things off a lot and never manage to get anything done.

  12. I need to to thank you for this very good read!! I absolutely enjoyed every little bit of it. I’ve got you bookmarked to check out new things you postÖ

  13. After checking out a handful of the blog articles on your web page, I seriously like your way of blogging. I added it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back in the near future. Please check out my website as well and let me know how you feel.

  14. Your style is very unique compared to other folks I have read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this blog.

  15. Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday. It’s always helpful to read through content from other authors and practice something from other web sites.

  16. An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a colleague who had been conducting a little research on this. And he in fact bought me dinner because I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to discuss this issue here on your web site.

  17. That is a really good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise informationÖ Thanks for sharing this one. A must read article!

  18. Good day! I simply wish to give you a huge thumbs up for your excellent info you’ve got here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.

  19. When I originally left a comment I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the exact same comment. Perhaps there is a means you are able to remove me from that service? Thank you!

  20. Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe that this web site needs far more attention. Iíll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the information!

  21. Next time I read a blog, I hope that it won’t fail me just as much as this particular one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read through, but I truly believed you’d have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could possibly fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.

  22. Good day! I could have sworn Iíve visited this website before but after going through some of the posts I realized itís new to me. Anyways, Iím certainly delighted I found it and Iíll be book-marking it and checking back regularly!

  23. Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon every day. It’s always interesting to read through content from other authors and practice something from their websites.

  24. Aw, this was a very good post. Spending some time and actual effort to create a good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I put things off a whole lot and never seem to get nearly anything done.

  25. After I initially left a comment I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I receive 4 emails with the exact same comment. Perhaps there is an easy method you are able to remove me from that service? Thank you!

  26. An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who was conducting a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me dinner due to the fact that I found it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to talk about this topic here on your website.

  27. A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment. I do believe that you ought to write more about this subject, it may not be a taboo subject but typically folks don’t discuss these topics. To the next! All the best!!

  28. I absolutely love your website.. Great colors & theme. Did you build this website yourself? Please reply back as Iím trying to create my very own blog and want to know where you got this from or what the theme is named. Many thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *