Journalist, broadcaster, Irish and Welsh language and music enthusiast Seán Mac
Réamoinn, died in early January 2007 at the age of 85. He was a good friend to Wales and to the
Irish in Wales. He was always there with advice, help and encouragement during the formative years of
the Wales Famine Forum. He will be sadly missed.
Seán was a member of the Gorsedd with the Bardic name of ‘Siôn Garmon’
on the grounds that the Irish for Wexford, Loch Garman (‘Lough Garman’), is a
Gaelicisation of the Welsh, ‘Llwch Garmon’.
Seán was one of the speakers when the Wales National Great Famine Memorial was unveiled and
dedicated at Cathays Cemetery in Cardiff on Saint Patrick’s Day, 1999. This was a real
celebration: a remembering of things past but with a mind and heart to the future. Seán was there
in our midst, a splendid cheerleader who led, encouraged and inspired. That event, and those held
annually since, was also a commemoration of Ireland's Great Famine and of the thousands who crossed
the Irish Sea in its wake. By the 1860s there more than 70 Irish ghettos in Cardiff alone and many more in
Seán was also party to the launching of an Irish language magazine, An Briathar Saor, the first magazine of its kind ever published in Wales. It
was launched at the Wales National Eisteddfod, Llandeilo, in August 1994 by Seánand his good
friend Harri Pritchard‑Jones, a doctor, writer and broadcaster from Cardiff. Seán spoke in
Welsh and Harri in Irish! Alas, that pioneering magazine only lasted four editions.
However, Comhluadar Caerdydd, the group of Irish speakers responsible for that initiative, were
also responsible for arranging a public meeting in November 1994 that led directly to the formation of the
Wales Famine Forum.
We are immensely grateful to Seán Uasal Mac Réamoinn for being there all the time to help
us along the road. We are privileged to be joined today by Seaán’s daughter and son,
Seona and Brian.