Tryweryn Remembered As Hundreds Attend Rally


Ten years ago Liverpool was told ‘they can keep their apology’ - today the decision to flood the Tryweryn valley is still as controversial!

It is still an emotive issue is Wales and you can still see signs today in parts of North and mid Wales reminding Welsh people of the sense of outrage felt when the Welsh speaking community in the Tryweryn Valley was submerged to provide a reservoir to service Merseyside

Today hundreds of people attended a rally to commemorate the sad day when the valley and the tiny village of Capel Celyn were wiped of the face of the earth by English insensitivity towards the Welsh.

The anger is still palpable and three men who took direct action by bombing the reservoir have also spoken out not just about the events at the time but how Wales has developed since.

Tryweryn is believed to have been the catalyst for the revival of the fortunes of Welsh nationalism and Plaid Cymru in particular and the events together with later protests over the Welsh language are believed to have led directly to the establishment of the Welsh Assembly

Owain Williams who tried to blow up infrastructure at the reservoir is however sceptical of Wales new powers. He believes the wave of nationalism inspired by the controversy has won little more than what he describes as a “spineless Assembly with no real powers”.

Mr Williams, who was jailed for blowing up a transformer on the site of the reservoir, also questioned whether Wales’ control over its own affairs is any greater now than when he planted the bomb in February 1963.

Mr Williams now 80 said he and fellow activists like Emyr Llywelyn Jones, who was also jailed over the bombing, expected the Welsh to “wake up and shake themselves out of the shackles of imperialism and neo-colonialism”.

However he questioned if things had really changed saying ‘I think the Welsh nation has been hoodwinked by having this spineless Assembly, which has no real powers.”

Next Wednesday will mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the controversial reservoir which was created to supply drinking water for Liverpool. Ten years ago (2005) Liverpool Council tried to make amends by offering an apology for what happened at the time. However although some politicians in Wales accepted the apology others were less forgiving.

Betty Watkin-Hughes, whose family was forcibly moved from Capel Celyn, said: "I think nothing of it, it is just away to say goodbye and sweep it all under the carpet.

"They can keep their apology and start doing what's right for the people who are left."

It seems that in respect of Tryweryn for the people of Wales time is not ‘a great healer’ as evidenced by the hundreds who turned out today to remember today!

Note: S4C will have programmes on this week remembering the events. Tomorrow afternoon (Sunday) a programme about the bombing campaign against the dam will be broadcast.


Issued by: The Celtic News



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