Friday 12 January 2024 Plaid Cymru met in Penarth to celebrate 100 years since the first meeting to establish the party.
Leanne Wood, Rosanne Reeves, Richard Wyn Jones, Gareth Clubb
Here are the contributions of Leanne Wood and Richard Wyn Jones at the start of the meeting.
Lively Kick-off for Centenary Celebrations
A series of events marking the foundation of Plaid Cymru nearly a hundred years ago got off to a lively start in Penarth on Friday 12 January 2024 at the Belle Vue Community Centre, Albert Crescent, Penarth.
Plaid members and guests took part in an evening to celebrate the formation of a secret group, the Mudiad Cymreig or Welsh movement, one of the organisations whose fusion a year later led to the formal launch of the national party.
Those present at the meeting on 7 January 1924 in Bedwas Place, Penarth, were Ambrose Bebb, Griffith John Williams, Elisabeth Williams and Saunders Lewis, the great poet, playwright and future leader of the party, who subsequently lived in Penarth from 1952 until his death in 1985.
Former Plaid leader and Rhondda Senedd Member Leanne Wood and Welsh Governance Centre Director Richard Wyn Jones led discussion of the last century of Plaid Cymru’s campaigning and its future prospects.
Leanne Wood paid tribute to all those activists who, although not prominent themselves, had worked for Wales throughout the last century, especially the many women who had played a key role in building a nation. This was echoed by Professor Richard Wyn Jones, who went on to analyse the circumstances that led to the launch of Plaid Cymru and the challenges and opportunities it now faces.
Their presentations in Penarth’s refurbished Belle Vue pavilion were followed by a lively discussion session – about Plaid’s future role as well as the party’s performance over the last one hundred years.
There was a spirited debate about exactly when and where Plaid Genedlaethol Cymru came into existence: Richard Wyn Jones argued for Caernarfon in December 2024, but from the audience Gwenno Dafydd – one of three descendants of Ambrose Bebb present – put forward a powerful case for Penarth. Officially, however, the centenary will be celebrated in August next year, the 100th anniversary of a meeting held in Pwllheli during the National Eisteddfod of 1925.
The event was organised by Plaid’s Penarth and Dinas Powys branch with the support of the Plaid Cymru History Society. It was chaired by Gaeth Clubb
“We are delighted with the strong turnout for this highly successful evening, the first of a series of events which will trace the formation of Wales’ national movement a century ago” said History Society Chairman Dafydd Williams.