News and Events

An Irish Male Voice Choir visits Wales

Almost exactly a year since their successful trip to Scotland, the Corrib Singers set off on April 1st 2024 from the Angler’s Rest, Headford on their five day tour to Wales. Taking a male voice choir to the Land of Song might seem an ambitious proposition, however, the choir, ably directed by Peter and accompanied by Máiréad Berrill, had a well prepared repertoire which included two Welsh songs sung in Welsh. Formed in September 2018, the choir members hail from the Lough Corrib area of County Galway in the West of Ireland. In the autumn of 2019 they undertook a very successful trip to Iceland singing ballads, folk songs, sea shanties and classical songs.

For the first three days, the choir was based in the walled town of Caernarfon, where Welsh is predominantly spoken. On the first night, the Corrib Singers were entertained by members of two choirs at a local venue. This welcome, or “croeso”, typified the reception received by the choir and their partners throughout the visit: namely an enthusiastic willingness to share music and songs, and to develop friendships. The warmth of the Welsh welcome is perhaps best expressed in the song often performed by Harry Secombe “We’ll Keep a Welcome in the Hillsides”. During the evening, the choir sang, amongst others, “Molly Malone”, “The Rare Auld Times”, “Fields of Athenry”, and a favourite Welsh song “Myfanwy” with the local choirs, and culminated with a powerful rendition of “The West Awake” by choir member Paul Burton.

Caernarfon, in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park, provided an ideal location from which to explore the region. On the first day, the choir visited Beddgelert, reputedly named after a legendary hound Gelert, and then Portmadoc, formerly a major port for the export of slate, but now the hub for the two narrow gauge railway lines that meet on the dockside.

That evening, the choir were entertained by the 50 member-strong Penrhyn male voice choir, Côr y Penrhyn in the Bethesda rugby club. Hearing the Penrhyn choir’s vocal output at close quarters was an incredible experience for the whole party! They were preparing for their participation in the choral competition at the International Pan Celtic Festival held in Carlow later that week, and were in outstanding form. However, the 19-member Corrib Singers were also in excellent form, and responded with a full program from their choral and trad playing repertoire that impressed the audience. Consequently, requests were made for Peter Berrill’s vocal arrangements and discussions begun about a reciprocal visit by the Penrhyn singers to Headford. The evening ended with both choirs singing “Yma o Hyd” (We’re Still Here) recently adopted as the Welsh soccer anthem, and the famous Welsh hymn “Calon Lân”.

The following day, the party took Thomas Telford’s engineered Irish mail road, or A5, through Snowdonia savouring the dramatic scenery of the Ogwen valley as far as the Victorian resort of Betws y Coed. Then to Blaenau Ffestiniog, formerly the centre of slate mining in Meirionethshire and recently awarded World Heritage status. There, the party toured the underground slate caverns being shown the horrendously difficult working conditions that slate miners endured to make the “Bangor” roofing slate. This experience certainly made one appreciate the work involved in making this familiar item. In the cavern, the choir sang “Working Man” a song describing the difficulties of underground mining, the Welsh love song “Myfanwy”, and ended with a wonderful rendition by choir member Padraic Hughes of Ewan McColl’s “Schooldays Over”, a song forever associated with Luke Kelly. That evening, an informal gathering had been arranged with choirs from the Blaenau Ffestiniog region. Again, there was a wonderful evening of formal and informal singing, and traditional Irish music played by members of the choir. Such an evening would be described in Welsh as a “Noson Lawen”, or “Happy Night”.

The choir headed south via Dolgellau, and regaled locals with a night of craic agus ceol in the Victorian resort of Llandrindod Wells. The following day, they arrived at the famous coalmining area of the Rhondda valley, where slag heaps are still an intrinsic part of the manmade landscape. At Aberfan, the party went to the Bryntaf cemetery where white granite arches mark the graves of the 116 children and 28 adults killed in the 1966 Aberfan disaster. There, a traditional Welsh tune “Breuddwyd Dafydd Rhys” or David Rhys’ Dream was played on viola by Rhodri Ceredig and the choir sang “Danny Boy”. It was a very poignant moment for all.

That evening, a concert had been arranged with the Morlais male voice choir (Côr Meibion Morlais, who will celebrate the centenary of their formation in 2028) in their beautifully restored chapel hall in Ferndale. They started the concert with a short program including “You’ll never walk alone” from Carousel. The Corrib Singers then sang a dozen songs interspersed by some Irish as well as Welsh traditional music, the latter played on Uilleann pipes and fiddle. The concert ended with the combined choirs singing “Yma o Hyd” and the Welsh National Anthem “Mae Hen Wlad fy Nhadau”. A memento of the event was then presented to the Corrib Singers followed by a lively session of singing and socialising with choirs exchanging songs and contact details.

The choir’s return by ferry from Fishguard had been cancelled resulting in the choir spending two extra days in Wales. The days were not wasted and on the day prior to departure, members of the choir joined with local jazz /soul/ blues musicians for a gig in Cardiff to celebrate the momentous Wales trip.

Rhodri Ceredig

St. David’s Day party March 1st 2021

Because of the restrictions on travel and public gatherings due to the Covid lockdown, we weren’t able to meet in person to celebrate St. David’s Day in 2021.  Instead we marked the occasion by meeting online via Zoom – this was a first for us and we unsure of its success, but in the event everything ran smoothly and successfully and was greatly enjoyed by all those present online.  It also had the benefit of giving people from all parts of Ireland the opportunity for the first time to join in with our St. David’s Day celebrations.

During our remote socialising in the first 30 minutes or so, Angharad and Justin announced the winner of the art competition who was Greta from Offaly (who was online with us at the time), for the following drawing:

Our quiz on Wales and the Welsh was won by Greg Owen and was followed by a series of music videos and readings presented by Richard Morgan (‘Can yn Ofer’ and ‘Môr o Gariad’) and Gareth Llwyd Jones, who presented 2 videos of Dublin Welsh choir, the second of which was a performance of ‘O Gymru’ given in our St. David’s Day function in the EPIC Museum in Dublin in March 2020, their last public appearance before lockdown.

The Welsh actor and singer/songwriter Ryland Teifi, who now lives in Waterford with his Irish wife Roisin Clancy and family, was unfortunately unable to join us in person but sent us this video for us to share on the evening:

We were also treated to some live singing over Zoom from Catrin Prys-Williams in Dublin and Nan Lloyd Guinan in Offaly.  Nan led us in a performance of ‘Moliannwn’ and Catrin accompanied herself singing the song ‘Carol Catrin’, which had been written and dedicated to her by her relative Aneurin Prys-Williams.

After further remote socialising we finished the online session by playing this rousing performance of Hen Wlad fy Nhadau by the crowd at the old Cardiff Arms Park prior to the New Zealand game in 1967, to which we were all invited to sing along (while muted, of course….):

Learn Welsh with Duolingo


Duolingo, the free language-learning platform, now contains support for learning Welsh.   Duolingo includes a language-learning website and app for mobile devices, and provides extensive written lessons and dictation, with speaking practice for more advanced users.   The app is available on iOS, Android and Windows 8 and 10 platforms with over 120 million registered users.  The Welsh course has in excess of 70,000 users from all over the world and there is a group on Facebook where users can discuss matters related to the course.  For more information, visit the Duolingo website on or download the mobile app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Draig Werdd committee member Richard Morgan is one of eight contributors to  the Duolingo Welsh course.   You can contact Richard for information or assistance in using the app by emailing him on

Protected Status for the old Welsh Chapel, Dublin


Following a lengthy campaign by Draig Werdd we are delighted to announce that the former Welsh chapel Bethel, located on Dublin’s Talbot Street, has been granted protected status by Dublin City Council.

One of the oldest surviving buildings in Talbot Street, the chapel building is of historical interest as it was used as a place of worship for the Welsh community in Dublin and for visiting Welsh seamen for over 100 years from the time of its erection in 1838. It is the only evidence left in Dublin of the links between Dublin and Wales during this period, and the external form of the building is clearly identifiable as a Welsh chapel of the early Victorian era.

Members of Draig Werdd have worked tirelessly to document the history of the chapel and its significance to Wales and to Ireland.The campaign was supported by An Taisce, UCD Celtic Studies, Dublin Welsh Male Voice Choir, Carwyn Jones AM First Minister of Wales, Jill Evans MEP President Plaid Cymru, Cadw, The Anglesey Presbytery, Hyfrydle Chapel Holyhead and Holyhead Town Council and all Dublin Inner City TDs.  Further details about the Chapel can be found here.    Click on the following links to see further news items about the council decision:

The news was also reported on S4C television on 4 June 2015 – click below to view the report (in Welsh with English subtitles).

One thought on “News and Events”

  1. Prynhawn da!

    Rwyf yn ymchwilydd i raglen Cefn Gwlad ar S4C ac rydym yn chwilio am unigolion sydd yn siarad Cymraeg i gymryd rhan yn y gyfres nesaf. Os oes ydych yn nabod unrhyw un gyda diddordeb, oes modd i chi ebostio fi os gwelwch yn dda: Diolch yn fawr!

    I am a researcher for S4C’s Cefn Gwlad, and we are looking for Welsh speaking individuals to take part in the next series. If you know of anyone, could you please email me on Many thanks!

    Deio Jones

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *