How Frongoch Internment Camp Influenced the War of Independence.
Frongoch Interment Camp was situated in Frongoch in Merionethshire, Wales. It was a makeshift place of imprisonment during World War 1. It housed German prisoners of war in an abandoned distillery and crude huts up until 1916, but in the wake of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin, Ireland, the German prisoners were moved and it was used as a place of internment for approximately 1,800 Irish. Notable prisoners included Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith. They were accorded the status of prisoners of war. The camp became a ground for the spreading of the revolutionary gospel. The camp became known as ollscoil na réabhlóide, the "University of Revolution" or sometimes "Sinn Féin University". The camp was emptied in December 1916 when David Lloyd George replaced Asquith as Prime Minister.
The conditions in Frongoch were poor. There were two reported cases of insanity and one attempted suicide.
There were two camps, the North and South camps. Prisoners stayed in poorly heated huts in the North Camp. The huts were badly insulated and the floors were just planks of wood. The paths between the unpaved and when the weather was bad the outdoor conditions were terrible. Michael Collins described the camp as “slippery shifting mud”. When the camp was inspected inspectors noted that there was no covered area for patients waiting to see the medical officer.
The South Camp was an old whiskey distillery. The insides had been changed from places to store grain and distil into five large dormitories. It also contained the prison hospital, a dining room, a kitchen, the doctor’s surgery, the barbers shop, various workshops as well as the punishment cells. The camp was described as “somewhat rough”.
Inspectors said that three out of the five dormitories were unsuitable for humans to live. They were ill lit and poorly ventilated. One dormitory was considered unsuitable for humans to sleep there. The...
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