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More than 500 attend Welsh rally in Carmarthen

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: January 21, 2013

By Gill Roberts

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MORE than 500 people showed their support for the Welsh language at a rally in Carmarthen.

Welsh Language Society (Cymdeithas Yr Iaith) hosted the event following figures that showed that there was a decline in Welsh-speaking communities in Carmarthenshire.

At the rally, held at County Hall on Saturday, attendees signed the pledge 'I want to live in Welsh'.

Among them was film and TV actor Julian Lewis-Jones.

"The main reason we came as a family to live Carmarthenshire was the Welsh language and culture," he said.

"I wanted my children to be brought up in a Welsh-speaking area, where the language is quite natural.

"The recently published census figures have horrified me as an individual and as a parent. We all have a responsibility to ensure that our language is spoken and heard everywhere.

"I'm very proud to be a Welsh speaker, and I'm determined to continue to live my life in the language of heaven."

Bromas, a young local band, entertained the crowd at the start of the rally and led a march of hundreds of people to the Welsh Government offices.

Chairwoman of Cymdeithas Yr Iaith in Carmarthenshire, Sioned Elin, who also spoke at the rally, said this was only the start.

She said: "The Census results have shown a reduction in the number of Welsh speakers across Wales, and the biggest drop was here in Carmarthenshire.

"I am glad that more than 500 turned out to show their support for the rally — it is clear that the people of Carmarthenshire want to live in Welsh. This is only the first step.

"At a meeting following the rally we discussed the next steps of the campaign here in Carmarthenshire.

"We will continue to press on the Government and the county council to enable us to live in Welsh and our hope is that more than 1,000 people will have signed the pledge before the end of the month.

"The rally was a great start with 400 signing the pledge in the morning."

Figures from the 2011 census showed the number of people speaking Welsh in Wales had declined in the past 10 years, with the number of Welsh speakers in Carmarthenshire dropping by six per cent.

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