by Ian McKeane
ON THE wet and windy afternoon of the 29 June 2002 a plaque was unveiled beside the B4501 in the village of Frongoch, north Wales, in front of about a hundred people gathered beside the road.
The plaque marks the site of the Frongoch internment camp where nearly 2000 young Irishmen were imprisoned without trial after the 1916 Easter rising.
Inmates included Michael Collins, Dick Mulcahy, Tomás MacCurtain, Terence MacSwiney, Sean T O’Kelly, J J O’Connell and many others who later played key roles in the struggle for Irish freedom.
Frongoch became known as ollscoil na réabhlóide, the ‘university of revolution’, as the seeds of that revolution sown during Easter week took root there.
The plaque is the result of hard work by the Liverpool branch of Conradh na Gaeilge, the local cultural group CANTREF and the support and interest of many in the Bala area, in Liverpool and further afield.
It was therefore totally appropriate that the Irish tricolour flew beside the national flag of Wales and the Starry Plough behind the plaque whose inscription reads in English, Irish and Welsh: 1,800 Irishmen were interned here after the Easter Rising, Dublin, 1916.
Around 50 people gathered at Liverpool’s Irish Famine memorial on 20 July to commemorate the victims of An Gorta Mor, the Great Hunger.
The event, which was organised by the John Whelan/Phoenix group was addressed by Pat McDonnell and local republican Lynn Gallagher.
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