Colofn: Trychineb Glofa’r Gleision

Mae Sioned Williams yn ysgrifennu am un o'r ymgyrchoedd y mae hi'n fwyaf balch ohono

A collage of photos that shows the bereaved families planting a tree with Sioned Williams to commemorate the Gleision Mining Disaster, and photographs of the tree later in the year.

Cyhoeddwyd yr erthygl hon yn y South Wales Evening Post ar ddydd Iau 15 Chwefror 2024 (yn Saesneg).


One of the campaigns of which I’m most proud of supporting is that of the families of the miners lost in the Gleision Mining Disaster to get a full inquest.

It has been nearly 13 years since the Gleision Colliery near Cilybebyll, Pontardawe was flooded following a routine blasting. While three men were able to escape, tragically four men - Charles Breslin, David Powell, Philip Hill, and Garry Jenkins - lost their lives.

For the people of Wales, it stirred harrowing memories of times we prayed had been left in our past. Indeed, this incident was the worst mining disaster to occur in Wales for three decades.

For the families, there were too many questions left outstanding. How had this been allowed to happen? And so began the campaign to get answers - something I was proud to lend my support to.

After many years, the coroner finally ordered a full inquest in December 2022. While the terms of the inquest were agreed in March 2023, a pre-inquest hearing arranged for September 2023 was cancelled at short notice.

So suddenly there were more questions, which led me to write to South Wales Police & Crime Commissioner Alun Michael to express concerns that families had once again been left in the dark.

The response I had from the police did not reassure me, as I learned that the coroner’s process had been “paused” due to information received in 2023, but that the police were “unable to provide a timescale” for the inquest.

The families are aware that what matters is the truth, not the speed at which this progresses. Yet it’s hard not to agree that thirteen years is far too long a time to wait for answers about what happened to a loved one.

These families have had to fight so hard to even get the right questions asked, let alone find the answers, and the inquest was to be a crucial part of that. For a year to have passed since the terms of the inquest were agreed is bringing additional distress to an already unbearably long wait for the truth.

Since then, there have been no outward signs of progress. It’s simply not acceptable and I will continue to push until we get the answers we deserve.

Mae hyn yn dechrau gyda chi

Ganddyn nhw mae'r arian, ond gennym ni mae'r bobl. Os yw pawb sy'n ymweld â'r wefan hon yn ymuno â'n symudiad yna does dim na allwn ei gyflawni.