Our gratitude goes out to all who contributed in any way to the Wales Famine Forum and helped us during our time of memorial and commemoration. Many, quietly and without fuss, gave of their time, their knowledge, their skills and their money.
To all the committee members who gave of their time and contributed in many ways and to their families who helped willingly.
Barry Tobin, Secretary. John Sweeney, Chairman. Joe Moore, Treasurer. Richard Kiff, (first Treasurer). Julia Burns (Welsh Language Adviser), John O'Sullivan (PRO/Press), Mary Newman, and Frank Lane.
To Andrew Jinks (computer and desktop publishing expert) without whom no publications would have been possible.
And our thanks go to all of the following :
Barbara / Colin Bailey, Gwent.
Kate Baillie, Gwernogle, Carmarthen.
Breege Barber (office of the Consul General of Ireland in Wales)
Ted Barrington (former Irish Ambassador in London).
Miss Barry, St. Patrick's RC Primary, Grangetown, Cardiff.
Peter Barry, Torch Choir, St. Mary of the Angels, Canton, Cardiff.
Majella Baxter, County Down.
Cormac Behan, Dublin Heritage Group.
Bord na Gaeilge (Irish Language Board), Dublin.
Noreen Bray, BBC Wales.
Dr. Gillian Bristow, Cardiff.
Maureen Bullows, Penmark, Vale of Glamorgan.
Dave Burns, Cardiff.
Jill / Paul, Burns, Caerdydd.
Jack Burtchael, Waterford Tourist Services, Waterford.
Rev. Canon J.C. Buttimore, Church in Wales, Cardiff.
Bwrdd yr Iaith Gymraeg (Welsh Language Board).
Reverend Father Byron.
Jim Carroll, Consul General of Ireland in Wales, from Oct. 2001.
Monsignor Gerald Chidgey, Nazareth House, Cardiff.
David D. Mullin Clark.
Patrick Cleary, Skibbereen.
Dr. Claire Connolly (Cardiff University).
Very Rev. Canon Felix Connolly, Maesteg.
Margaret Connolly, Dublin.
Tim Pat Coogan, Dublin.
Phil Cope, Blaengarw, Bridgend.
Cór agus Ceoltóirí na hAislinge, Bray.
Côr Cochion Caerdydd / Cardiff Reds Choir.
Cór na nÓg, RTÉ, Dublin.
Mr. P.J. Corcoran, Tonteg, Pontypridd.
Corpus Christi Catholic High School, Lisvane, Cardiff.
John Couch, Swansea.
Charles Cravos, Caerfyrddin.
Dr. Patrick Crotty, Trinity College, Carmarthen.
Tom Crowley, Pontypool.
Martin Culliford, Newport.
Matthew Culpin, Cardiff.
Eddie Curran, Newport.
Mrs. Mary Curran, London.
Chris Daly, Cardiff.
Canon Patrick Daly (Llantrisant).
Dr. John Davies, Cardiff.
Brendan Day, Cardiff City Council.
Dempsey's Irish Bar, Cardiff.
Patrick Dobbs, Llangadoc.
Councillor Marion Drake, Cardiff.
Antoinette Duffy (office of the Consul General of Ireland in Wales).
Canon Thomas Dunne, St. Brigid's, Cardiff. (RIP).
Lyn Ebenezer, Aberystwyth.
Rod Eley, History Ireland, Trinity College, Dublin.
Rev. Canon Malcolm Ellis, Church in Wales, Cardiff.
Mick Farrell, Dempsey's irish Bar, Cardiff.
Tom Flaherty, GAA, Cardiff,
Paul Flynn MP, Newport.
Nuala & Martin Gaughan, Cardiff.
Angela M. Gay, Australia.
Marco Gil - Cervantes, Butetown History and Arts Centre, Cardiff.
Gladstone Primary School, Cathays, Cardiff.
Aidan Goggin, Askeaton, County Limerick.
Bernie Goggin, Brandon Book Publishers, Dingle, County Kerry.
Dr. Maddy Gray, University of Wales, Newport.
Ben Gregory (CYTUN.
Alun Guy (Conductor), Cardiff.
Lila Haines, Cardiff.
Ciarán Harborne, Dublin.
Mrs. E.K. Harrison, Milford Haven.
Mrs. M. Haughton, Birmingham.
Felim J. Hearty, Barry.
Peter Henneker, former Director, CAFOD Cymru.
D. Hennessy, Merthyr Tydfil.
Frank Hennessy, BBC Wales.
Steve Hennessy, Bristol.
Reverend Matthew Hill, Church in Wales, Cardiff.
Ferghal P. Hogan.
Marie le Nagle Hogan.
Institute of Irish Studies, Liverpool University.
Reverend Nick James, Ely, Cardiff.
The Reverend Denzil John, Welsh Baptists, Cardiff.
Edwin / Beryl Jones, Lampeter.
Iolo Huw Jones, Cardiff.
Mrs. Lisa Jones, Coity, Bridgend.
Sally Roberts Jones, Port Talbot.
Vincent Kane, BBC Wales, Cardiff.
Margaret Keenan, BBC Wales, Cardiff.
Noreen M. Kennedy.
Bro. Eugene Leonard, hristian Brothers, Dublin.
Kingsley Lewis, Latin Mass Society, Pontypridd.
Chris Lewis-Smith, Bristol.
Emyr Llewellyn, Gwynedd.
Captain Norman Lloyd-Edwards, Lord Lieutenant, South Glamorgan.
Barra Mac Aodh Bhuí, An Gúm, Dublin.
Prof. Proinsias Mac Cana, Dublin.
Lesley McCarthy, Swansea.
Dr. Mac Giolla Chríost, Trinity College, Carmarthen.
Peadar McGourty, Cardiff.
Jim McHugh (RIP), Cardiff.
Fr. James McKnight, I.C., Talywain, Pontypool.
Seán Mac Réamoinn, Dublin.
Fr. S.F.Marriott, I.C., St. Joseph's, Cathays.
Mr. and Mrs. P. Moran, Cardiff.
Alun Morgan, HMI, Swansea.
Dr. Prys Morgan, University of Wales, Swansea.
Rhodri Morgan, AM.
Don Mullan (Dublin).
Gerald Murphy, Skibbereen.
Paddy Murphy, Skibbereen.
Edward Murray, Belfast.
Joe Murray, AfrI, Dublin.
Fr. David Myers, I.C., St. Peter?s, Roath, Cardiff.
John Myerscough, Preston.
Dr. David Neville, Cardiff.
Newtown Association, Cardiff.
Tom Noone, Chairman, North Wales Irish Society, Rhyl.
Muiris Ó Bric, New York.
Mrs. Olive O'Brien, Bexhill, East Sussex.
Breandán Ó Cathaoir, Dublin.
Brian Ó Cléirigh, Wexford.
Jack O'Connell, Ballydehob.
Nuala Ó Faoláin, Dublin.
Pádraig Ó Fearaíl, Bray, Co. Wicklow.
Prof. Cormac Ó Gráda, University College, Dublin.
Stiofáin Ó hAnnracháin, Clóchomhar Teoranta, Dublin.
Dr. Paul O'Leary, University of Wales, Aberystwyth.
Caoimhín Ó Marcaigh, Dublin.
Conor O'Riordan, Consul General of Ireland in Wales, October 1998 – October 2001.
Pádraig Ó Snodaigh, Dublin.
Denis O'Sullivan, Skibbereen.
Tyrone O'Sullivan, Tower Colliery, Hirwaun.
Caitríona Ó Torna, Dolgellau, Gwynedd.
Fr. John Owen, Chaplain, Cardiff University.
Marcus Payne, Penarth Public Library.
Dave Phillips, Head of History, Llanishen High School.
Peter Polish, Gwernogle, Carmarthen.
Reverend Fr. G. Power, PP (retired), Dungarvan, County Waterford.
Roger Price, Llanelli.
Councillor Derek Rees, Cardiff.
Bishop Edwin Regan, Wrexham.
David Reid, Cardiff.
Reverend Canon R. Riordan, Cardiff.
Mary Robinson, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva, former President of Ireland.
Mrs. Monica Ronan, Port Talbot.
R. P. Ronan.
Michael Russell, Cork.
St. Patrick's RC Primary School, Grangetown, Cardiff.
St. Peter's Rugby Club, Newport Road, Roath, Cardiff.
Very Rev. P. Scanlan, I.C., V.F. (Rector), St. Mary's, Stow Hill, Newport.
Mr. T.A. Sherry.
Mrs. Mary Sherwin, Cork City.
Patrick Steer, formerly Director, Oxfam Cymru.
Mary Sullivan, Cardiff.
Anke Teresa, Frankfurt, Germany.
Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas, National Assembly for Wales.
Geraint O. Thomas, Wrexham.
Dr. J.H Thomas, Porthcawl.
Owen John Thomas, AM.
Stephen Thomas, Director, Welsh Centre For International Affairs, Cardiff.
Dr. Frank Trombley, Cardiff University.
A.C. Uruska, Y Cylch Catholig, Aberystwyth.
Liam Walsh, Tramore, County Waterford.
Paul Walsh, Newport.
Sara Wilbourne, Cork University Press.
Fr. Bernard Whitehouse, Cardiff (RIP).
Olwyn M. Williams, Worcester.
Rev. Jeff Williams, Director, Christian Aid, Cardiff.
Tomos P. Williams, Holywell, Flint.
Reverend Meurwyn Williams, Penarth (RIP).
Mary Wines, 'One World Week', Cardiff.
Hilda Yates, Milton Keynes.
Ysgol Mynydd Bychan, Cathays, Cardiff.
1. Comhluadar Caerdydd.
Following a proposal by Westmeath-born Patrick Egan, this group was formed in Cardiff on 23 January 1994. The other members were :
John Breese (died December 1994), Farouk Daruwalla (died January 1996), Patrick Egan, John Evans, Hywel Merfyn Jones, Richard Lewis, Muiris Mag Ualghairg, Miranda Morton, Ruaidhrí Ó Broin, Risteárd Ó Fuaráin, Tim Saunders, Barry Tobin, and Stephen Yates.
Its purpose was to provide a forum for speakers of Irish in Cardiff, to promote the learning and use of the language and to publish a magazine in Irish. Four editions of An Briathar Saor, the first (and only) periodical in Irish to be published in Wales, were produced between 1994 and 1997.
The agenda of its meeting on 30 September 1994 included the item, 'Commemoration of the Great Famine'. The meeting decided to refer the matter to the Chairman and Secretary. They decided that the project would be beyond the scope of the ?Comhluadar? and, with the agreement of the other members, decided that the right approach would be to arrange a public meeting to decide what should be done.
2. The Public Meeting.
The meeting which launched the Wales Famine Forum took place, with the permission of the parish priest, Fr. (now Canon) John Maguire, at St. Mary's Hall, Canton, Cardiff, on Saturday 12 November, 1994. The following people were present :
Julia Burns, Lesley McCarthy (Swansea), Paul Morgan (Abergavenny), Peter Henneker (CAFOD), Frank Lane, John O'Sullivan, Ingrid Wilson (Newport), Dr. Rosemary Andersen (Newport), Sean Cleary, Patrick Whelan (St. Hilary, Vale of Glamorgan), Mair Saunders (Penarth - daughter of Saunders Lewis), Ruaidhrí Ó Broin, Andrew Jinks, Karen Heenan-Davies (Treharris), Dr. Harri Pritchard-Jones (who took the Chair), Tracy McCoy (Blaengarw, Bridgend), Maureen Thomas (Wrexham), Fr. John Maguire, John Sweeney, Canon Sean Kearney (Merthyr Tydfil), Barry Tobin.
That meeting decided that a new society to be called 'The Wales Famine Forum' should be formed.
A Steering Committee met on 26 November and on 21 January 1995 before the formal launch at a meeting at the Columba Club, Canton, on 25 February, 1995.
3. The First Meeting
Present were : Julia Burns, John Huws (Radio Cymru), Richard Kiff, Peadar McCourtney, Tim Saunders, John Sweeney, Einion Wyn Thomas (Merioneth Historical and Record Society), Terry O'Brien and Peter Sims-Comber (both representing the Archbishop of Cardiff), and Bernard Dunn with an unidentified companion (Newport 'One World Week' group).
4. The First Committee
At that first meeting the following committee was elected :
Chairman : John Sweeney.
Treasurer : Richard Kiff.
(Richard resigned for family reasons in October 1995 and was succeeded by Joe Moore).
Secretary : Barry Tobin.
Committee Members : Julia Burns, Lesley McCarthy.
5. The Book of Remembrance
This was announced in 1998 as a way of raising money to finance the Wales National Great Famine Memorial, unveiled in Cathays Cemetery on St. Patrick's Day, 1999. Because only a few people responded directly to this appeal no Book of Remembrance was published. The individuals who did respond were :
Samuel H. Boyd, Cwmbran, in memory of his brother, the late Thomas William Boyd, MP (Northern Ireland).
Edmond Kavanagh,Hertfordshire, on behalf of his late sister, Mrs. Kathleen Mary Coughlan, of North Harrow, London.
Very Reverend Daniel Mullins, retired Bishop of Menevia, who did not wish to name any individual deceased members of his family.
Cillín P. Ó Conghaile (London) in memory of Seán Ó Conghaile who died in Dublin in 1916.
Mrs. Julie A. Pritchard, Bargoed, in memory of of :
a) Sean Howard Patrick Griffin (1966 - 1985)
b) "My grandmother, Margaret (neé Crosbie) was born in Dublin and met my grandfather who was not born in Ireland but whose parents came from County Cork during the Famine."
c) "My other grandmother and husband moved to Splott in 1922 from Ireland."
We have decided not to publish the amount contributed by each donor. However, it can be stated that the donations varied from £5-00 to one of £500-00.
6. Honorary Members
At its meeting on 14 April 1997 the Forum elected the following Honorary Members :
Canon Felix Connolly (Maesteg), Canon Sean Kearney (Merthyr Tydfil), Canon J,C. Buttimore (born in Cork, until retirement, Vicar, St. David's Church in Wales, Ely), Canon Malcolm Ellis (Vicar, St. John's Church in Wales, The Hayes), Reverend Denzil John (Minister, Tabernacl Caerdydd, The Hayes), Very Rev. P. Scanlan, I.C., V.F. (Newport), Fr. Michael McCarthy, I.C., Newport, Dr. Harri Pritchard-Jones, Fr. (now Canon) John Maguire.
7. Contributors to this magazine:
We began in 1966 with 'Y Ddraig Werdd', a magazine in Welsh. Two editions were published before it folded, mainly because we could not find people prepared to write about the history of the Famine and the Irish in Wales in that language. So we began to publish 'The Green Dragon'.
We are very grateful to the writers who made both publications possible. Apart from the contributors to this edition all are listed in the Index at the back.
8. Last but not Least
Branches of the trade union movement, especially COHSE and UNISON branches in Wales and Northern Ireland.
Session musicians who gave of their time to play for us at events, particularly one famous one at the former St Peter's Parish Centre in Richmond Road, Roath, Cardiff.
Good-hearted individuals whose names were not written down as they pushed money into a hand at various events.
Dancers who danced, again especially at St Peter's Parish Centre (now closed) in Richmond Road.
Dancers of Scoil Rince Mac Gabhann, Caerdydd / Jim Smith School of Dancing, Cardiff.
Members of St Colmcille's GAA Club, Cardiff.
Cardiff University Students Union, its past President Paul MacCarthy and its current President Tom McGarry.
Students at the Students Union, University of Glamorgan.
Many other people whose names were neither recorded nor remembered. They gave willingly to ensure that the many who died of starvation and the many who came to our shores for relief are honoured and remembered.
Where possible we have attached places to names but would be grateful for feedback to enable us to do that in every case.