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News site criticised over ‘abhorrent’ headline branding Gorsedd ‘exclusive club’ featuring ‘Tryweryn bomber’

29 Jul 2020 3 minute read
The Gorsedd on the move. Picture by National Assembly (CC BY 2.0)

A news website has been criticised after it chose a starkly negative headline for its coverage of the announcement of the names due to be honoured by the Gorsedd of the Bards this year.

The North Wales Live website ran with the headline: ‘The exclusive club that counts both an ex-chief constable and a Treweryn [sic] bomber among its members.’

Every year the Gorsedd awards those who have made a contribution to the Welsh language and to public life in Wales.

Those awarded this year include:

  • Carlo Rizzi, a world-renowned opera conductor originally from Milan
  • Former Acting Chief Constable of North Wales Police, Clive Wolfendale
  • Begotxu Olaizola for promoting ties between the Basque country and Wales

The list also includes Emyr Llywelyn of Ffostrasol in Ceredigion who was imprisoned 50 years ago for causing damage to the construction site of the Tryweryn dam.

According to the Eisteddfod, he did so “before announcing that he would not use violence again”.

However, those reacting to North Wales Live’s headline described the headline coverage as “pathetic” and “abhorrent”.

“What an abhorrent headline,” Sian Llywelyn said. “You should be ashamed of your choice of words. How about showing respect towards one of the oldest tradition that we have.

“Who the hell are you trying to impress with your derogatory tone? North ‘Wales’ Live my arse.”

Blaenau Ffestiniog Town Councillor Erwyn Jones said the coverage was “Pathetic. Just pathetic.”

Another social media account called the headline “disgusting” and called for the website’s sister paper, the Daily Post, to be boycotted.

The article itself, however, noted that those being accepted into the Gorsedd were “honoured for their achievements and their commitment to Wales, the Welsh language and to their local communities across the whole of Wales”.



Others honoured include Siôn Jobbins, the chair of Yes Cymru and co-ordinator of the marches for independence, and was one of the leaders of a bid to secure the web domain dotCYMRU (.cymru).

“A prolific writer and editor, he is honoured for his leading contribution to the future of Wales,” the Eisteddfod said.

Due to the lockdown this year’s Eisteddfod, due to take place in Tregaron in Ceredigion, was postponed and will instead take place next year.

The Eisteddfod said that the aim was to hold the ceremonies on the Eisteddfod Maes next year. They will not be reopening nominations for the Gorsedd for the Ceredigion National Eisteddfod, and nominations for the Eisteddfod in Llŷn and Eifionydd will open in a year’s time.

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