Not what you’d be expecting a holiday accommodation provider in Snowdonia to be talking about is it? But it happened.
After the Easter Rising in 1916, around 1,800 people were transported from Ireland to a tiny village near to Bala. Why there you may ask? Well it seems that it was “out of the way” and there were already 2 established prisoner of war camps which had held German prisoners. What it seems the authorities hadn’t realised (or realised the significance of) is that the area was a hotbed of Welsh nationalist feelings and behaviour. These locals were working in the camps and the imprisoned Irish saw them as role models I suppose for what they could achieve. The prisoners started to teach each other to speak Irish which made it more difficult for the prison authorities to understand what was going on. It seems that they were allowed to “perform” dramas which involved drilling and military tactics. When they returned to Ireland in the Christmas of 1916 as heroes they had formulated plans and I suppose they were what we’d call today radicalised.
Amongst the people at Frongoch were Michael Collins, a significant figure in the Irish Revolution and Sinn Féin founder, Arthur Griffith.
Until recently all that remained as a reminder of what happened in this little village was a plaque in a layby. Since the Centenary commemorations an interpretation board and flags have joined it. Stand in the layby and look at the board with an aerial photo of the area and try to imagine where this huge camp (and the whisky distillery which was there too) stood… it’s very hard. It happened – honest, but it’s very difficult to imagine it now.
Frongoch is on A4212 between Bala and Trawsfynydd. The plaque is in layby, on left hand side after the Village on way towards Trawsfynydd.
This is about 20 minutes drive from Cadair View Lodge log cabin accommodation
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