• May 3, 2014

News from Celtic League

A Welsh speaking mother was told by a hospital doctor in Wales not to speak to her daughter in Welsh – her native language.

The mother had taken her daughter to the emergency services at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd,  Bodelwyddan and while being treated by the doctor the mother and daughter spoke in Welsh. The mother claimed that while communicating in Welsh with her daughter, who was “crying and upset” the doctor had commented that she would take it as a “personal insult” if they continued speaking in the language. In response to the comment the 15 year old daughter told the doctor that it was her right to speak her mother tongue.

Since the incident the doctor and the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board that runs the hospital apologised for the comment made, calling them “insensitive and unacceptable”, but the incident highlights the prejudice that still exists towards the Welsh language and its users, even in Wales.

A tweet sent by the mother following the incident stated:

“Methu credu bod meddyg yn Ysbyty Glan Clwyd wedi gofyn i ni beidio siarad Cymraeg gyda’n gilydd o’i blaen hi gan am ei gymryd yn bersonnol ac ei fod yn drosedd. Wel, sori ond pan mae fy merch mewn panic ac yn crio yna mi fyddwn yn siarad yn ein mamiaith a dim drwy gyfrwng y Saesneg er mwyn i bawb glywed ein busnes personol. Mae’n rhyfedd mai ond yn y wlad hon y mae hi’n hiliol i siarad ein tafodiaith. Sa neb yn meiddio dweud wrth y Frengig ac unryw genedl arall i siarad Saesneg”

In March 2014 a Cardiff employee stated on Twitter in response to two girls speaking Welsh in the shop he was working in:

“I love Wales and it’s beauty, but the welsh language gets right on my fucking nerves. Two girls in the shop at the moment speaking to each other in welsh. I’ve had to turn bobby Womack up to 8.”

The employee and owner of the shop later publicly apologised for the discriminatory comments and actions highlighted in the tweet, but shows how Welsh users are still being discriminated against, despite legislation designed to protect and promote their rights.

The mother said that she was considering making a formal complaint about the hospital incident to the Welsh Language Commissioner’s office.


For comment or clarification on this news item in the first instance contact:

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot
General Secretary, Celtic League
M: 07787318666
The General Secretary will determine the appropriate branch or General Council Officer to respond to your query.


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues.

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