North West Wales

Frongoch marks 100 years since the arrival of Easter Rising prisoners

Frongoch camp 1916
Image caption Frongoch camp in 1916

Events have taken place to mark the centenary of the internment of Irish prisoners in Gwynedd.

The camp at Frongoch, near Bala had been used for German prisoners during World War One.

But on 11 June 1916 it became a camp for 1,800 people suspected of taking part in the Easter Rising in Dublin. They remained until that Christmas before returning home as heroes.

Descendants of those imprisoned were among those taking part in the events.

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Media captionEvents are held in Gwynedd to mark 100 years since the arrival of Irish prisoners
Image caption A parade took place on Saturday

The commemorations involved pupils from Ysgol Bro Tryweryn, which was built on part of the camp.

Other events included an exhibition at the school, walking tours of the site and a series of speakers including the Ambassador of Ireland, Daniel Mulhall.

Image caption Ysgol Bro Tryweryn pupils have been learning about their area’s history and heritage

The event was part of the Cymru'n Cofio Wales Remembers 1914-1918 programme.

It provides an opportunity for young people to learn more about history, and to find out how their local area was affected by the tumultuous events which took place during those four years.

Ambassador Mulhall said: "Projects like this provide an opportunity to explore our shared and overlapping histories, to remember the past in an inclusive manner, and to reflect on and advance further the productive journey of reconciliation on which Ireland and Britain have been embarked for decades now."

Image caption A plaque in the village to mark the camp - inscribed in Irish, Welsh and English

Councillor Elwyn Edwards, chairman of the Frongoch committee, said the Frongoch 1916-2016 project had brought the community together.

"By commemorating this centenary, we are joining together communities in Wales and Ireland to remember the history which we share," he said.

"This project allowed us to raise awareness of our history and culture within the local community and beyond and we are extremely grateful to the staff and pupils of Ysgol Bro Tryweryn for their substantial contribution to this project."

Image caption An exhibition was among the commemorative events

Among Frongoch's prisoners was Michael Collins - who went on to become a significant figure in the Irish Revolution.

Along with the founder of Sinn Féin Arthur Griffith, Collins led negotiations in London in 1921 to establish the Irish Free State.

In total, at least 30 men held at the Frongoch went on to become MPs in the new Irish parliament in Dublin.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Michael Collins was relatively insignificant when he arrived at Frongoch, but left a leader

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