‘Cofiwch Dryweryn’ mural vandalised
The chief executive of the pro-independence group YesCymru has blamed divisive political rhetoric for the vandalising of a mural commemorating the flooding of the Tryweryn valley in 1965.
The mural – which reads “Cofiwch Dryweryn” (Remember Tryweryn) – was painted on a wall outside the Storiel Museum and Art Gallery in Bangor.
It was scrawled over in blue paint and noticed on the morning of Tuesday November 28.
The flooding of the Tryweryn valley near Bala, including the village of Capel Celyn, is seen as one of the key moments in Welsh history.
Despite the opposition of local residents all but one of Wales’ MPs at the time, Liverpool Corporation was allowed to flood the valley in order to provide the city with a new water supply.
Many politicians, especially those from Plaid Cymru, have spoken of the influence the flooding had on their understanding of how Wales was disadvantaged and had no power to resist exploitation by outside interests. It led them to support moves for Wales to have its own parliament. Several former Plaid leaders including Dafydd Wigley, Ieuan Wyn Jones and Adam Price have spoken of Tryweryn as a pivotal moment in their developing political awareness.
The message “Cofiwch Dryweryn” was originally painted in the 1960s by young nationalist Meic Stephens, who was determined that the people of Wales would never forget the decision to drown the valley and create a reservoir for Liverpool City Council.
Condemning the incident, Yes Cymru chief executive Gwern Gwynfil said: “This disgraceful, anti-Welsh vandalism is the real world consequence of the divisive rhetoric espoused by some politicians today. Words are important and those who spout and inflate populist positions for short term political gain should be ashamed of themselves.
“They should consider the potential harm their ill chosen words can cause. They should reflect on how the cultural conflict they seek to inflame may lead to damaging outcomes for communities and individuals as well as inspiring such low level acts of cultural vandalism.”
It is not the first time that such vandalism has occurred. The original Cofiwch Dryweryn mural in Ceredigion was vandalised with a swastika and a white power symbol in 2020
Ceredigion Senedd Member Elin Jones said at the time that the graffiti was “disgusting”.
She said: “Police are aware of the swastika on the Cofiwch Dryweryn wall. If you have information, tell the police. This is not a prank – it is sinister and dangerous.”
Ms Jones, the Senedd’s Presiding Officer, later posted a tweet noting that the mural had been restored.
The vandalism on the mural near Llanrhystud in 2020 was spotted by photographer Marian Delyth from Aberystwyth.
“Noticed whilst passing that the memorial wall Cofiwch Dryweryn has been a target of vandalism once more – of the worst kind!” she said.
“Thanks for the positive and kind message of thanks for the NHS on the banner. Let’s concentrate on that.”
The original Cofiwch Dryweryn mural was knocked down in April 2019 and had been defaced with graffiti on many occasions before then.
Following the attack on the wall at that time a number of other Cofiwch Dryweryn murals were painted up and down the country.
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