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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 April, 2005, 13:08 GMT 14:08 UK
Funeral service for Plaid pioneer
The funeral service

More than 2,000 people have attended the funeral of Plaid Cymru's first MP, Gwynfor Evans, who died last Thursday at the age of 92.

The town of Aberystwyth came to a standstill as a lone piper led the funeral cortege to Seion Chapel.

Mr Evans' coffin, draped in a Welsh flag, was followed by about 40 of his family.

Some 500 people gathered outside the chapel to watch the service, which was relayed through speakers.

Two big screens had been erected in the Bethel Baptist Chapel, opposite the Seion Chapel, which had opened its doors to accommodate the large numbers of mourners.

As the hearse left some one-and-half-hours later, there was a spontaneous round of applause by the mourners outside.

Moments later as the cortege disappeared from sight the Welsh national anthem was sung, many wiping away tears as they sang.

Police closed Baker Street and cordoned off crowds behind barriers ahead of the funeral, which started at 1330 BST.

It followed a private service attended by Mr Evans' family at his home in Carmarthenshire.

Among the mourners were Welsh assembly Presiding Officer Lord Dafydd Elis Thomas, former Plaid president and MP Dafydd Wigley and the party's current president, Dafydd Iwan.

Former political colleagues paid tribute
A procession of former colleagues paid tribute at the service

They were joined by representatives of the other three main political parties - Conservative AM Glyn Davies, Wales' Countryside Minister Carwyn Jones for Labour and Liberal Democrat peer Lord Richard Livsey.

Winnie Ewing, the Scottish National Party's first woman MP who served at the same time at Mr Evans, was also at the funeral.

Mr Iwan told the congregation that he had been "an inspiration to me as a Christian, pacifist and nationalist".

"He has been an inspiration generations, to thousands of us, and the admiration extends beyond political boundaries".

Gwynfor Evans
Mr Evans threatened to starve himself to death over Welsh language TV

Mr Evans' family had asked that members of the public attended the chapel service.

In a statement, they said: "We would like the service in Aberystwyth to be an opportunity for the people of Wales to give thanks for Gwynfor's life."

A cremation, with a private family service, will follow the funeral.

In accordance with Mr Evans' wishes, his family asked for any donations to go to the charity Christian Aid "as a contribution from the people of Wales to the people of the world".

Mr Evans' minister, Reverend Huw Roberts, presided at the service, aided by Reverends Andrew Lenny and Vivian Jones.

In Pictures: Gwynfor Evans' funeral
27 Apr 05 |  In Pictures
Gwynfor Evans: Your tributes
21 Apr 05 |  Wales
Plaid protester's S4C lament
01 Nov 02 |  Wales
Gwynfor Evans at 90
01 Sep 02 |  Wales


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