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.

17,598 comments on “The Heroes of Ireland and Wales

  1. After looking over a number of the articles on your blog, I seriously appreciate your technique of blogging. I book marked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back in the near future. Please visit my web site too and let me know how you feel.

  2. A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I do believe that you should write more on this subject, it might not be a taboo subject but usually people don’t discuss these subjects. To the next! Best wishes!!

  3. I really love your blog.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you develop this website yourself? Please reply back as Iím wanting to create my own blog and would love to find out where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Appreciate it!

  4. Having read this I thought it was rather informative. I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this content together. I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

  5. Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thanks, However I am experiencing issues with your RSS. I donít know the reason why I can’t join it. Is there anyone else having identical RSS issues? Anyone who knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanx!!

  6. After study a few of the blog posts on your website now, and I truly like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Pls check out my web site as well and let me know what you think.

  7. You are so cool! I don’t think I’ve read a single thing like that before. So nice to discover somebody with unique thoughts on this issue. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This website is something that is needed on the internet, someone with some originality!

  8. An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!

  9. There are certainly a lot of details like that to take into consideration. That is a great point to bring up. I offer the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up where the most important thing will be working in honest good faith. I don?t know if best practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your job is clearly identified as a fair game. Both boys and girls feel the impact of just a moment?s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.

  10. After I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked on 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 a way you are able to remove me from that service? Thank you!

  11. Good web site you’ve got here.. Itís difficult to find high quality writing like yours nowadays. I honestly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

  12. I blog frequently and I really thank you for your information. The article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to book mark your blog and keep checking for new details about once per week. I subscribed to your Feed as well.

  13. An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment. I do believe that you need to publish more about this subject, it may not be a taboo subject but usually folks don’t speak about such issues. To the next! Cheers!!

  14. Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an e-mail. I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.|

  15. Hi there! I could have sworn Iíve visited this website before but after looking at many of the articles I realized itís new to me. Anyhow, Iím certainly happy I discovered it and Iíll be book-marking it and checking back often!

  16. Hi there! I could have sworn Iíve visited this site before but after going through some of the articles I realized itís new to me. Regardless, Iím certainly pleased I discovered it and Iíll be book-marking it and checking back often!

  17. You need to be a part of a contest for one of the greatest blogs on the internet. I most certainly will recommend this site!

  18. Hi! I could have sworn Iíve visited your blog before but after browsing through many of the posts I realized itís new to me. Regardless, Iím definitely happy I stumbled upon it and Iíll be bookmarking it and checking back often!

  19. I want to to thank you for this excellent read!! I certainly enjoyed every little bit of it. I’ve got you book marked to check out new things you postÖ

  20. Hello, I do believe your website could be having internet browser compatibility problems. When I take a look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in IE, it has some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Besides that, great website!

  21. Hi there very cool site!! Guy .. Excellent .. Wonderful .. I will bookmark your site and take the feeds also?KI’m glad to find so many helpful info right here within the submit, we want develop extra strategies in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  22. Howdy! I could have sworn Iíve been to this site before but after browsing through some of the posts I realized itís new to me. Regardless, Iím definitely delighted I came across it and Iíll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!

  23. An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a coworker who had been conducting a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me lunch simply because I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to talk about this topic here on your website.

Leave a Reply

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