Thursday, 9 December 2010

Remembering Newtown: The Story of a Near Forgotten Community

...the Irish newcomers quickly made Newtown their own. "Little Ireland", as it became known, had a school and its own church, St Paul's. The church in particular was central to the devout Catholic community. Musical and sporting talents like boxing legend Jimmy Driscoll were also nurtured. It was, as resident Mary Sullivan - whose Irish grandmother emigrated there - recalls, "a town within a city."
Above Right: World famous boxer Jim Driscoll, outside his pub in Newtown with the famous 'Cork Pipers'.

Call me an old romantic ("old?" I ask pleadingly, "romantic?" Mrs Hurley asks cynically) but I like to think that just as the Welshman, St Patrick, took Catholicism to the people of Ireland, so the new Irish settlers of the 19th Century brought the Catholic Faith back to a Wales that had it ripped from them in the 16th and 17th Centuries.

Just as St Patrick took the heathen Irish and created a land of monasticism and devout Faith, so the Irish settlers would bring at least some of the Welsh, amongst whom they settled, mixed and married, back to the Faith of Our Lady of Cardigan, Our Lady of Bala, and Our Lady of Penrhys. In that noble aim, born initially out of economic necessity (even survival!), the small enclave of Newtown, Cardiff, played its part.
Remembering Newtown by Maxine Roper

No comments:

Post a Comment

No foul language please