Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

Columnist melts down over Bannau Brycheiniog change and compares Brychan to Boris Johnson

18 Apr 2023 4 minute read
Right – Image by Jonathan Brady PA Images

An Independent newspaper columnist has criticised the decision to rename the Brecon Beacons National Park, saying it has been named after “possibly the most sex-mad Welshman in history”.

The article, which also mocked the Welsh language, was written by the Independent’s associate editor, Sean O’Grady who compared King Brychan to “an ancient version of Boris Johnson”.

The Welsh name translates as “peaks of Brychan’s kingdom” – a reference to the fifth-century king in the region.

In the rant, O’Grady criticised the decision by the park’s management to only use the Welsh name, Bannau Brycheiniog, from now on, complaining it’s “difficult to pronounce” for people outside of Wales.

He wrote: “The good folk who run the Brecon Beacons National Park have decided that that familiar name, one that evokes the fondest of memories in the hearts of those fortunate enough from around the world to have found themselves enchanted by its natural beauty, is to be replaced with something that, outside Wales at least, is difficult to pronounce, let alone fall immediately in love with.

He added: “I mean the ‘Bannau Brycheiniog National Park’ isn’t the easiest to curl one’s tongue around is it, albeit less of a challenge than the famous Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. (Which means “railway station”, I believe).”

In the article, O’Grady claimed that after “extensive online historical research” he found that Brycheiniog only “Welshified” his name after he migrated to Wales from Ireland.

Boris Johnson

He wrote: “Rather like an ancient version of Boris Johnson, Brycheiniog married three times and had an unknown number of children, estimated from a Rees-Mogg beating 11 (the Moggster having an understated randy Welsh heritage of his own) to 63, which is probably in excess of Johnson’s total.”

O’Grady went on to complain that he personally would have rather seen the park named after “a more contemporary Welsh legend” such as Dylan Thomas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Tom Jones and Huw Edwards.

The name change, which was launched on Tuesday by Welsh actor Michael Sheen, was a decision made by the park’s owners to properly celebrate it for its natural and cultural heritage and highlight its aims to become net zero by 2035.

O’Grady wrote that dropping the old logo of a “fiery greenhouse-gas emitting beacon” was “quixotic but fair enough”  and said it wasn’t “all bad” because it had “wound up the climate change deniers”.

Readers in the Independent’s comments section beneath the article pointed out the associate editor had completely disregarded the fact the park was not changing its name, but just reverting back to its original ancient Welsh name.

One commentator said: “Supporting the Welsh culture and language is THE major factor in reverting the it back to its original Welsh name, along with the new direction the park wants to go to be less polluted and a greater haven for nature.

“It just so happens that other minor factors were involved, including the desire to better reflect the diversity of the landscape and, coincidentally, the negative connotations associated with burning fossil fuels.”

Another reader pointed out that Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch doesn’t translate to “railway station as O’Grady wrongly believes.

Welsh culture

Brynleydm commented: “No Its not the name of a railway station. It means St Mary’s Church in the Hollow of the White Hazel Near to the Rapid Whirlpool of Llantysilio of the Red Cave.”

Catherine Mealing-Jones, the national park authority’s chief executive, said: “Given that we’re trying to provide leadership on decarbonisation, a giant burning brazier is not a good look.

“Our park is shaped by Welsh people, Welsh culture, and as we looked into it we realised the brand we’ve got and the name we’ve got, it’s a bit of a nonsense, it doesn’t really make any sense – the translation Brecon Beacons doesn’t really mean anything in Welsh.

“We’d always had the name Bannau Brycheiniog as the Welsh translation and we just felt we needed to put that front and centre as an expression about the new way we wanted to be celebrating Welsh people, Welsh culture, Welsh food, Welsh farming – all of the things that need to come with us as we go through this change in the management plan.”


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
25 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Vyvyan
Vyvyan
10 months ago

He probably shouts in English at those damn foreigners.

hdavies15
hdavies15
10 months ago

Lots of posturing and misinterpretation going on. The Park’s Chief Exec, explains that Bannau is not a direct translation of Beacons. Then the idiot from the English press comes along and has his usual Anglo centric rant about how difficult it might be to pronounce, what a dunce! Try sitting down for maybe 5 minutes and exercise the phonetics. Or is that too much for an awfully busy jerk looking for more things to get offended about? Join the Fay and ARTD club, plonker.

Steve Woods
Steve Woods
10 months ago

Asyn gwirion.

Trefor Owen
Trefor Owen
10 months ago

The Cymraeg is not a translation from the Saesneg but the reverse, its the original and has been translated into Saesneg.
About time these little englanders showed a modicum of respect for the varying and original heritages within these islands.

Martyn Young
Martyn Young
10 months ago

His assertion that he would prefer it named after a more contemporary Welsh person underlines his ignorance and myopic views.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
10 months ago

Apparently according to the toilet paper Tory Telegraph this name change is, and I quote one of their Mickey Mouse journalists , as “cultural Marxism”. And how ironic that we have a bigoted Cymrophobe journalist with an Irish surname mock our history and ridicule Britain’s native language.

Riki
Riki
10 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Just jealous about Brychan and his family! His father was in fact from Wales (Powys area) and he inherited his lands after he died. So he was a British king from Wales who happened to be Born in Ireland, these people’s and how they view Important historical people is pretty insane, they really do it with a modern , international sense of Identity, it’s ridiculous to suggest he saw himself as “Irish”, as lineage was the most important factor to royalty, now and then! Trust me, the Irish have also played their part in trying to get rid of our… Read more »

Alan Jones
Alan Jones
10 months ago
Reply to  Riki

A few out there slagging off Brychan but the same people languish in the narrative of the likes of Edward the 1st slaughtering the Cymro ( & effectively holing them up in ghettos via castle building). The conquest & slaughter of the Irish under later monarchs plus the push into Scotland all to placate yet another monarch. Not forgetting “our enery” & his perverse method of ridding himself of his wives. It’s obviously making uncomfortable reading lately now that the darker side of building the empire is throwing up on a regular basis. Puts old Brychan in the shade somewhat… Read more »

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
10 months ago

Yr oedd Brychan Brycheiniog, yn wahanol i Boris Johnson, yn sant, ac fe fagodd gewri ysbrydol ar ei lin. Yn dra wahanol mi debygwn i’r hen gorach ffilistaidd a luniodd yr erthygl.

Lee Delamere
Lee Delamere
10 months ago

We should use the Welsh names for our towns in the Welsh Marches such as Y Gelli (Hay) Henffordd (Hereford) Ameithig (Shrews) Caer (Chester), that will really annoy them!

Richard 1
Richard 1
10 months ago
Reply to  Lee Delamere

And I’ll go out and delete the “Wells” after “Llandrindod”

John Brooks
John Brooks
10 months ago
Reply to  Lee Delamere

I agree. However I have Amwythig for Shrewsbury. Also Newtown in Cymraeg should really be the original Llanfair yng Gedewain and not Y Drenewydd, which is a translation of an English name of a town built to supplant an existing settlement.

Geraint
Geraint
10 months ago

Such sensitive souls these columnists. I wonder how he reacted to Beijing changing from Peking? When Bombay was changed to Mumbai in the 90s
with the name being taken from a goddess I wonder what he said? Could be he had to fill his column and thought ……

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
10 months ago

I wonder what he will have to say when something is actually named after Bojo and will he ridicule HIS language ‘Gibberish’?

Riki
Riki
10 months ago

Migrates to Wales from Ireland? His Father was from Britain, The Powys region! And the reason for him being born in Ireland is because his father took land via battle against the Irish. But they won’t tell you that because they don’t like the fact that many ancient British Kings show Nationhood for the Britons long before it’s commonly accepted. If Britain, is indeed a country, then it has long since been shrunk to what is the area that comprises Wales, after all, these Britons now Reside in Wales. Which makes Wales the legacy of Britain and the Britons. They… Read more »

Ap Kenneth
10 months ago

Why do these columnists think that anybody is really interested in their views, ego I suppose, best ignored. But a class move by the national park, huge amounts of free publicity.

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
10 months ago

I’m genuinely intrigued by the extent to which those with, shall we say, “a British perspective” have reacted to the promotion of the Welsh name for these Welsh mountains. Why are they made so uncomfortable by expressions of Welshness that often aren’t really any of their business? Anything Welsh seems to trigger the inner bigot in them; it must be deep-seated.

Riki
Riki
10 months ago
Reply to  Rhosddu

Because it’s in reality “British”, and so while the Britons of Wales and its language remain. They can’t fully take over the island and pass it and its history off as Germanic/Scandinavian.

Andy Williams
10 months ago

Don’t panic, our leader in waiting, Andrew RT Davies, will stick up for Wales

Richard 1
Richard 1
10 months ago
Reply to  Andy Williams

haha

Nia James
Nia James
10 months ago
Reply to  Andy Williams

He’s our Tyson Fury…sorry Furious Tie!

Tim Wickenden
10 months ago

Ignorant ranting. He just sounds like a stupid person. I’m an incomer to Wales, been here nearly 18 years, and I love the language, culture, and the people. I struggle to speak Welsh but the more Welsh we see and use the better we’ll absorb and understand it. This is a good thing.

Rhi
Rhi
10 months ago

“It’s hard to pronounce” yeah maybe, but I find Chinese place names hard to pronounce, be an absolute arrogant idiot if I tried to insist they made them English though wouldn’t I?
Or you know what, let’s make some of those tricky English place names easier, tourists struggle with those don’t they? The people of Luffbruh will just have to get used to it, wouldn’t want to alienate the American tourists.

Dai
Dai
10 months ago

English newspaper lambastes use of Welsh in Wales, because English people will no longer be able to say they climbed Pen y Fan in Bannau Brycheiniog, the highest peak in South England & South Wales & North & South Holland.

JohnR
JohnR
10 months ago

Just taking back control. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.