Articles about Newport and Gwent on this website

The Voyage of ‘The Wanderer’.

From the Monmouthshire Merlin of February 6, 1847 comes this report of the arrival in Newport, Gwent, on February 1 that year, of a ship carrying several hundred refugees from the famine in Ireland.

The vessel had set sail with its hapless passengers on Christmas Eve, 1846.

C19th Irish Immigration & Integration in Newport.

©: Martin Culliford.

Another account of famished arrivals forming an integrated community which eventually becomes a solid and essential part of the life of its modern community.

The author, a teacher in a secondary school and a leading local historian, comes from England and has learned Welsh.

St. Mary’s, Newport.

©: Eddie Curran.

Local historian Eddie Curran relates the story of St. Mary’s R.C. church in Newport, Gwent, South Wales.

This article includes references to the Chartist uprising in 1839.

Remembering Them

©: Fr. Michael McCarthy I.C.

This is the text of the sermon preached during the Memorial Mass for the victims of the Great Famine at St. Mary’s, Stow Hill, Newport, Gwent, South Wales, on Friday 8 November, 1996.

The Hawker.

From the anonymous work, Franciscan Missions among the Colliers and Ironworkers of Monmouthshire, published in London in 1876 by Burns and Oates.

How an old Irish tramp who wandered about in the Pontypool area made his first Confession and received his first Communion near the closing of his days.

An Irish Life in Wales.

A transcript of a tape recording of the recollections of Ben ‘Blow’ Whelan, born in Ireland over 100 years ago, who spent all his working life in Wales.

Transcription ©: The Wales Famine Forum.

Refers to the Rhymney Valley, Gwent and Newport.

Respectable and Sober? Irish Immigrants in Wales, 1850 – 1890.

©: Dr. Paul O’Leary.

Historian Paul O’Leary shows how after the Great Famine the Irish in Wales began to organise themselves as they strove for social acceptance.

Refers to Newport and Cardiff.

Will you Walk with Us a Little Way?

©: William J. Matthias.

William Matthias describes the old pilgrimage from Llantarnam Abbey in Gwent to the shrine of Our Lady in Penrhys in the Rhondda, recently revived on an ecumenical basis.

The life and times of Mary Crofton.

©: Tim Bax.

Mary Crofton, born in Limerick, spent most of her life in Newport where she became a well‒ known activist on behalf of a large number of causes.

She died in 2001, aged 82. Her funeral was a major event for the Irish in south east Wales. The attendance at St. Mary’ s RC Church, Stow Hill included activists, trade unionists, politicians and ordinary devout Catholics.

At the wake in the Irish National Club, Commercial Road, the speakers included former miners’ leader, Arthur Scargill.

Tim Bax, a young relative, lives and works in London.

Looking Back at Llanwern.

©: John O’Sullivan.

Following the closure of the Llanwern steelworks, near Newport, in 2001, John O’Sullivan, journalist and historian and Press Officer / PRO to the Wales Famine Forum, interviewed Father Owen Sweeney.

Father Sweeney, who was Chaplain to the thousands of Catholic and mainly Irish workers who moved in during August 1959 to begin the massive construction job, now lives in Dublin.

The O’Sullivan comes from John’s seafaring grandfather, who was born in Cobh (then known as Queenstown), County Cork.

A merchant seaman, he met his Welsh sweetheart and wife during a visit to Barry Docks, 10 miles from Cardiff.

Welsh Connections.

©: Samuel H. Boyd

Sam Boyd of Cwmbran looks at the links between the Wales where he lives and the Ireland of East Belfast where he grew up.

The Leek and the Shamrock.

Y Genhinen a’r Siamrog.

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